Seeking peace in the spaces in between

“If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

Lilla Watson

Peaceful Borders seeks to accompany and equip people responding to forced migration through:

Accompanying Peacemakers
Building Capacity
Campaigning for Peace
Developing People and Practice

Accompanying

We help new arrivals interpret their new surroundings and navigate life in the UK.

Our team accompany many refugees and asylum seekers to appointments and support people through informal telephone advice giving appropriate reassurance regarding the asylum process. We also visit new arrivals to the UK to help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness and often respond to requests for help from vulnerable people at their point of arrival to the UK when they are at significant risk, especially the minors.

We utilise our extensive networks to connect asylum seekers to supportive people on their frequent transfers to enable integration and pastoral care.We help people build their power to learn and act through community organising, connecting people and opportunities who have shared values and interests.

Building

We identify people with good ideas and help them build capacity for peaceful responses to forced displacement. This Asset Based Community Development approach seeks to help people with creative solutions flourish. Some of the projects we have been pleased to support and build include:

The Solidarity and Support Network (SSUN) provides psychological support for volunteers working in Calais or Dunkirk who do not receive the training and debriefingsupport that would be expected from more established agencies who send people to humanitarian crises. We helped in the creation of SSUN in 2016 and continue to support its new coordinator with reviewing the scope of SSUN support, liaising with agencies about their needs and fundraising to help SSUN develop further.

Hopetowns: Hopetowns is a weekly refugee-led group supporting the well-being and successful integration of refugees. With 40 attendees and 15+ volunteers providing teaching and befriending services, Hopetowns was initiated and is led by team member Samer.Hopetowns Peckham is starting in October 2019. It will be led by team members Samer, Ali and Simon.

Injera Club is a youth club in south London. After the tragic suicides of several unaccompanied minors who were unable to recover from the ordeals of their displacement, the Injera Club was developed to offer support, friendship and advice to help them navigate their new world. For 9 months our former team member Grace volunteered weekly to help the club’s founder facilitate growth by introducing new members and volunteers, with a view to achieving sustainability. Found Benny Hunter said ‘Grace was a saviour, we would be nothing without the support she gave the project’.

Maria Skobtsova House provides a safe haven for the most vulnerable displaced people in Calais. Team member Simon is on the management group of the house and we have sent a number of volunteers to assist. We provide pastoral support for long-term volunteers, and help with fundraising and safeguarding advice.

Campaigning

We are committed to advocating for those who have been displaced and whose rights are being abused, especially unaccompanied children.

Since 2017 Juliet has been the co-chair of the Safe Passage Campaigns Team, organising people to successfully lobby parliament to amend the EU Withdrawal Bill to reflect a commitment to a Dublin-equivalent agreement.

Juliet also helped Safe Passage launch the Our Turn campaign commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport which rescued 10000 Jewish children. The Our Turn campaign is organising people to lobby their local councils to pledge spaces for child refugees, thereby encouraging central government to commit to the Our Turn campaign to receive 10,000 displaced children over the next 10 years.

We help institutions get involved in campaigns, share information and supported long-term campaigners.

Developing

We are committed to integrating experience with reflection to enable better practice as we all navigate living in a world on the move. We encourage our team and others to take opportunities to teach, share stories, reflect and write on their experiences and learnings.

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Visit

You can only really understand the impact of displacement when you meet people who have been displaced. We like to take people to visit Calais when possible, so get in touch if you would like to explore this possibility.

Learn

It is important to learn from each other, especially in increasingly polarising times. We welcome invitations to speak or write on peace-making and share and listen to stories of peace.

A project of the Anabaptist Mennonite Network.

Charity Number 1175973