Your Greenwich Students’ Union (GSU) Officers have written a statement in response to the current crisis in Afghanistan, urging members of the community and the UK to be welcoming of refugees.
We are writing this statement in response to the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan. We stand in solidarity with our Afghan students, the people of Afghanistan and everyone affected by the escalating political and humanitarian situation.
It is more important than ever that Greenwich Students’ Union (GSU) and all other UK institutions welcome Afghans with refugee and immigrant status. We invite our student groups to work together with us to remove barriers of prejudice at Greenwich, share your experiences and advocate change for our Afghan community. GSU remains inclusive and welcoming to all, especially to those in need.
We are shocked and saddened by the reports and images reaching the UK from Hamid Karzai Airport and all over the country. We call on the British government to alleviate the humanitarian suffering. We welcome the Government’s plan to take in 20,000 Afghan refugees, however as things stand, the plan is to bring across 5,000 refugees in the first year. Therefore, we will join the National Union of Students (NUS) and others in calling for a more generous resettlement scheme. Furthermore, we are actively working with the University of Greenwich and the Royal Borough of Greenwich to make our university a university of sanctuary (universities.cityofsanctuary.org). You can find out about our current Sanctuary Scholarship programme here: gre.ac.uk/bursaries/the-sanctuary-scholarship.
Advice and support
We recognise that the scenes of the conflict have been overwhelming and upsetting to many. In the coming days, the University will reach out personally to all Afghan students. Additionally, the University’s International Advice Service (gre.ac.uk/visa/during-your-studies/international-student-advice-service) and their Wellbeing service (gre.ac.uk/student-services/support/student-wellbeing) can offer support.
Please be aware that you can reach out to us personally, our emails are available at greenwichsu.co.uk/officers.
The Afghanistan and Central Asian Association (acaa) (https://acaa.org.uk) offers support for the Afghan community in London. We remind you that you are not alone and we, your GSU Officers, are here for you.
What can we do in the UK to help?
If you can, please support the emergency appeals below.
GSU Officers 2021/22
Aatika Ayoub, Nele Leitolf, Yasinur Rashid Jabed, and Zoë Campbell