Carry My Story Programme during lockdown
Kirklees follow a programme of linking entitled ‘Carry My Story’; this is a cohesion project working within schools and neighbourhoods, with the aim of encouraging story exchange with refugees. This year a fabulous 54 classes have been involved. During the lockdown, Wellhouse Junior School continued to make use of their Carry My Story story jar provided by refugee Ryad Alsous as part of their home schooling programme and Zoom sessions. When a few of the children returned to school recently, the assistant head agreed to welcome Ryad and Kim to their school garden so that the children could talk to him and ask him questions in person.
The children asked Ryad about his life in Syria, the impact of the conflict and questions about The Buzz Project and his knowledge of bees. Ryad and Kim were the very first visitors to the school since Lockdown. Everyone enjoyed a taste of honey and honey cakes. Matthew Bradbury, Assistant Head at Wellhouse, shared examples of the children’s work for Refugee Week and Carry My Story. The children have been looking at the Refugee Week website and did some work on imaging how difficult life would be without essentials like money, school, friendship, bees!
Thomas, one of the pupils said “I think I will tell my mum about Ryad, and she is likely to share it with people at work, and so more people will know about his amazing story. I can’t believe you were scared in Syria, in all the bombing, had a hard journey and then were successful with bees in this country.”
Kim was also handed a wonderful scrapbook containing identity work from the pupils and from their partner school – Spring Grove JI&N – in Huddersfield.
We had not envisaged that we would be able to continue the linking work in this way before the end of term. We are hoping a few more schools will follow suit. For Wellhouse children and their link partners the questions Who am I? and Who are we? are more relevant than ever!
David Raven-Hill, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Strickson, email@example.com
Monica Deb, firstname.lastname@example.org