Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Some good news for young Afghans - Contract for reception centre in Kabul scrapped

I received this information in an e-mail today;

Just wanted to let you know that following lobbying by The Children's Society and partners in the sector, the government has decided to scrap the contract for the reception centre in Kabul. The reception centre (plans for which were revealed last summer) was to have space for 16 to 17 year olds alongside adult reception facilities. We raised concerns with Ministers on the basis of the quality and appropriateness of plans in the context of UK's child welfare and safeguarding duties under domestic and international law, and called on Ministers to recognise that all Afghan children in the UK are children in need of international protection from armed conflict and their best interests are not met by being returned to that country whilst these conditions persist. We called on government to cancel its contracting plans and to provide a durable status for Afghan children instead of temporary discretionary leave based solely on the age of the child and lack of adequate reception arrangements. Obviously the latter point will require some more persuading but still a positive development for the time being.

We now understand that they will re-tender for a new centre for adults and will not include facilities for 16 and 17 year olds. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed of any new developments and how this is likely to affect the young people you work with.

If you have read my previous posts, "What did you do for your 18th birthday" and "I felt like I was on the set of Babylon 5" , about the potential deportation of Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers from Afghanistan, you will know that I will be very happy to have read this today. This is one small victory for those who have been campaigning against the plans to deport young 16 and 17 year olds to Afghanistan.

Small victories like this are what keep me campaigning and promoting the voices of those who aren't always heard!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

#Vidstory is a Channel on Vimeo

The #vidstory project is coming to a close as we reach the end of term.

I am sure that the ripples that drift across the 'cloud' will continue for some time.

Students can share their videos with their peers.

Comments will be left and hopefully positive relationships will develop.

Confidence, identity and self expression will all be nurtured and not stifled.

There are questions about Copyright, I prefer copyleft and Creative Commons who provide free licenses for creative types who want to keep some form of Copyright.

If there are any discrepancies in the videos publish I will rectify them however as I am not making any commercial gain and using the media for educational purposes I find it difficult to position myself with current legislation. Please read this http://bit.ly/iDbgV0 a very useful do's and don'ts list of Copyright.

I have been away from Blogger and Twitter for some time, enjoying life with my 2 beautiful daughters and my wife. When I watch the videos my students make I realise my good fortune to be who I am and where I am in this world. Work-Life balance is always a tricky game to play.

Any comments would be welcome and would also encourage me in my exploration of this topic. It would also be great to get feedback on the #vidstory project or any other aspect of the blog =)

I must thank @web2Literacy for his support and invite you to join myLIFE - migrant young Learners In Formal Education , if you are making videos with young migrants and wish to promote their work to a wider, supportive online community.
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