About Us

Peaceful Borders works to support new arrivals to the UK through helping refugee and migrant community leaders build their capacity and power to create peaceful communities and spaces through developing programmes of meaningful, refugee-led support. These include practical and emotional support and supporting the development of social networks within and alongside refugee and migrant communities. Through this we strive to support these communities to have a real voice in developing long-term solutions to the problems of isolation, displacement and lack of integration.

Having successfully supported community building and peace-making in the Calais ‘Jungle’, Peaceful Borders is now using this learning and working to support the community leaders who emerged in the informal camps of the 2015 refugee crisis to put their skills and learning to use in supporting those who arrive in the UK. We continue to accompany and advise grass-roots organisations that also emerged during that time as they respond to the largest movement of people across Europe since World War II.

We will accompany and support asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in the UK to build communities of mutual support and solidarity to equip ensure new arrivals to build successful new lives in the UK. We will centre refugee expertise in building refugee-led communities to work together for integration and to meaningfully improve refugee and migrant lives, We will support asylum seekers, refugees and migrants to shape and take an active role in policy advocacy, campaigning and supporting mainstream organisations to use refugee learning and expertise in delivering services.

Aims

To use learning from refugee community leaders’ work in building communities in informal camps to build sustainable refugee communities for new arrivals in the UK

To ensure new arrivals to the UK are supported by small, refugee-led groups that understand their real needs and deliver meaningful programmes of support

To enable refugees and volunteers responding to forced migration are provided with opportunities to reflect and learn from their experiences

To work with others to ensure refugee voices are at the heart of campaigns for safe and legal routes of migration to the UK and for fair and effective asylum systems

Team Members

JULIET

Emerging out of weekly visits to the Calais ‘jungle’ in 2015-16, Juliet co-founded Peaceful Borders to accompany refugee and volunteer peacemakers responding to this humanitarian crisis. She continues to coordinate the initiative part-time and actively campaigns for the rights of unaccompanied child refugees.

SIMON

Co-founded Peaceful Borders in response to his weekly visits to Calais in 2015-16. Simon offers strategic support to our developments and continues to be on the management committee of Maria Skobstova House in Calais.

SAMER

Samer founded Hopetowns to support the well-being and successful integration of refugees into British society. As a former community leader in the Calais ‘jungle’ who fled Sudan, he knows the importance of providing hope and friendship for vulnerable people.

ALI

Ali supports people who have recently arrived in Britain as they navigate the confusing systems of immigration, housing and work. As a former community leader in the Calais ‘jungle’ who fled Syria, he understands the challenges first hand.

Our Story

2015

Juliet visits Calais ‘jungle’ for first time.

Juliet meets Ali, recording list of names for Safe Passage.

Juliet & Simon go on first large delegation from Citizens UK to Calais.

Juliet & Simon start to return weekly with volunteers and meet Samer.

Increased police presence prevents access to the ‘jungle’ without ID, so we create Peaceful Borders lanyards and become a thing!

Simon & Juliet deliver the ‘Listening Caravan’ to Samer as a space for dialogue, conflict resolution, and community organizing.

Safe Passage wins landmark legal ruling, opening a legal route for family reunification for children in Calais. Three children arrive in UK soon after.

Solidarity and Support Network is started, to support those who have worked in the camps.

The Maria Skobtsova Safe House is opened in Calais and Simon joins the management committee.

As half the camp faces demolition hundreds of children go missing, but a few travel safely and legally to the UK to join families through EU laws.

We support community leaders and organisations as the other half of the camp swells with 1000 new people each month.

We support Safe Passage and Lord Dubs in securing the ‘Dubs’ amendment.

Juliet visits Lebanon to learn about peacemaking, migration and inter-faith dialogue.

During the final demolitions of the Calais ‘jungle’ we provide peacemakers to advise and escort minors to emergency registration as the UK transfers 900 unaccompanied children.

We bear witness to the chaotic and violent demolitions, recording and submitting evidence of inhumane treatment.

We assist with staffing emergency safe houses in London which receive some of the 900 children from the demolitions.

2016

2017

Samer starts Hopetowns in north London.

Juliet chairs the launch of the Safe Passage ‘Our Turn’ campaign in the House of Lords.

Public launch ‘Our Turn; campaign on anniversary of the demolitions.

Juliet visits Moria & Pikpa camps in Lesvos with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Lesvos.

Juliet returns to Lebanon to learn about migration and inter-faith dialogue with ABTS.

Samer & Grace start working part-time for Peaceful Borders.

We organise a Calais Community Leaders reunion.

Ali starts working part-time for Peaceful Borders.

2018

2019

We help with European Baptist Federation ‘Connecting to Serve Refugees’ webinar with participants from 14 countries.

The Children’s Society launch resources co-written by Juliet.

We partner with Amal Learning to provide online English tuition.

Hopetowns Peckham pilot starts.

Donate

We can only continue to be responsive peacemakers with your support. Every donation enables us to continue for longer.

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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