What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
This project will provide refugee and migrant children with the support that they need to thrive at school. Schools in Southeast London do not offer specialist support for children who are refugees or migrants. Inclusion teachers have limited resources to support children where English is a Second Language and teachers often do not appreciate the challenges for children to learn at home due to language, cultural and socio-economic barriers such as poor or over crowded housing. Their parents don't have the language or time to support their children's education; parents are focused on dealing with immigration issues, and/or unwell. The Rainbow Club supports the children to succeed in school by supplementing their education and helping their families with practical support, advice and referrals to specialist services.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
Approximately 15% of Lewisham's population of 262,000 is from a migrant background. Of these, approximately are 5% from refugee producing countries such as Sri Lanka, Nigeria, West Africa, Horn of Africa, and the Middle East. The top languages spoken in Lewisham schools according to the 2011 census are French (1022), Yoruba (807), Tamil (792), Somali (412), Turkish (402), Polish (387), Spanish (357), Albanian (321), Igbo (241) and Vietnamese (221). The Rainbow Club has 67 pupils whose parents are from Iran, China, Nigeria, Ghana, Algeria, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and other parts of West Africa. We have a further 50+ children on the waiting list. We work with children from 24 schools across Lewisham.
What is your solution?
Our solution is to increase The Rainbow Club's capacity to support refugee and migrant children to achieve at school. The Rainbow Club will offer more places to refugee and migrant children, work effectively with each pupil's school to tailor the curriculum to each child's need and ensure that this is continued at school, strengthen referral relationships with diaspora community organisations to ensure that The Rainbow Club is accessible and that families know how to support their children's education, and increase support for parents/carers to address socio-economic and immigration status issues so that they can integrate effectively (for example more food parcels, referrals to specialist services and ESOL classes).
How will you deliver this?
Children attend the Rainbow Club each Saturday during term time from 9:30-1:30. Parents can access additional support while children are attending classes. There are mid and end of year celebrations including children's performances and exhibitions of art work.