Revive’s ESOL group celebrates Black History Month
As we celebrate Black History Month one of our ESOL volunteers writes about the importance of recognition, understanding and cohesion now more than ever.
Recognising the contemporary context of Black History Month could never have been more important than it is today. 2017 is a year defined by a rise in racial tensions in Europe and by the continued activism to push back against these rising tides of discrimination. As we well know here at Revive, the path of asylum seekers in their flight from war, persecution and misery is made more difficult by these tensions and so we wish to champion any opportunities to say – you are welcome here!
Why is English Language important for refugees and asylum seekers at this time?
Learning English not only enables asylum seekers and refugees to communicate more confidently and effectively. It also supports them in understanding British culture and values. In exactly the same way different cultural traditions have made impressive contributions to our shared humanity and they should be celebrated as such. ESOL teachers Rita Machin and Cath Fernley used the spirit of Black History month to convey this message to our students. Lessons in September were used to promote both the launch event and the month-long programme of events.
Celebrating Black History Month
The launch event for Black History Month was held at Manchester Cathedral on September 26th and the evening was a wonderful mix of music, poetry, song and readings. Although only one service user attended, his enjoyment was evident and was hopefully shared with others. The month continued with an eclectic mix of opportunities for entertainment, reflection, political discussion and consideration of historical legacy.
Not only has it provided us with the opportunity to show respect for those who have stood against racial discrimination and prejudice but should also further galvanise those of us who oppose racial inequality and are working to find a safe harbour for those fleeing violence and oppression.
How you can help
Could you join us in helping refugees and asylum seekers to experience smoother and more enjoyable integration through English Language lessons? Get in touch to learn more about our volunteering opportunities.
Patrick, an ESOL student at Revive.