EdLab Spark: Help Manchester Refugee Support Network with Education

Manchester Refugee Support Network (MRSN)

Manchester Refugee Support Network (MRSN) is a grass-roots organisation directly managed by refugee communities for refugee communities. Our work focuses on the development of refugee organisations, advocacy, campaigns, advice and orientation.

Refugee food at event

MRSN was set up in the mid-1990s by 8 refugee community organisations. It currently has 21 member organisations but supports the development, training and information needs of over 40 refugee community organisations across Greater Manchester each year. Its core purpose is to help build strong and independent refugee community organisations (RCOs), run by skilled leaders, to help bring about positive and lasting change in the lives of refugees and those seeking sanctuary.

Challenge 1:

A group of older Somali women attend their local luncheon club with the Somali Women’s Support Group, supported by Manchester Refugee Support Network, and they would like to improve their English. Research into social isolation was conducted with the women and they expressed that they would like to get better at speaking English so that they can talk with their neighbours and increase their independence. Can you think of a solution to this issue?

Challenge 2:

Children from refugee families often face many barriers to learning: English is usually not their first language, they are often experiencing change and upheaval in their lives and they are not used to the education system in the UK. Some kind of after-school support would benefit this group of children by making school more accessible and inclusive. Can you find a way of supporting a project with children from refugee families in Manchester?