As many of you will know, I (Tama!) have volunteered with AFRIL since 2010, predominantly as a teaching assistant at The Rainbow Club, AFRIL's Saturday school for refugee, asylum seeking and vulnerable migrant children aged 4-11.
It has been my privilege to be a part of a such a unique project for so long and have watched it go from strength to strength. When I started there was one class and maybe 15 children attending each week now we have three classes and around 60 children attending every Saturday morning!
Whilst getting up early on Saturday isn't always easy, it is worth it to see the drawing of a unicorn/camel/reindeer hybrid in an art lesson and to watch the song writing process unfold in a music lesson with Fairbeats who provide awesome music lessons every week (watch and listen to this video for an example of the end result of this: https://youtu.be/FoXgiLOHOWs ).
Many of the children who attend are living in poverty, some born in London into families considered "destitute", parents waiting and waiting for their immigration appeals to be heard. Others are very recent arrivals, starting new lives in Lewisham having fled the war in Syria. Some of these children never had the opportunity to attend school prior to arriving in the UK.
For all of the children the Rainbow Club provides not only additional hours of maths and English, but also an opportunity to have fun, make new friends and do something different on a Saturday morning. Termly trips are always a highlight - over the years we have visited many museums, visited the farm and been to the cinema. This year Rainbow Club has also been able to offer a number of holiday activity days and this is something that will hopefully develop further year on year.
So, rather than fill our cupboards with any more mixing bowls we decided it made more sense to ask you to consider making a donation to this excellent cause!
For more information about AFRIL, look at their website/facebook/twitter!