One year of Right2Education at AUC
Right2Education is a non-profit, educational initiative started entirely by AUC students in January 2016. Working only with volunteers, the AUC students plan, coordinate and teach Dutch and English language classes at the A1, A2, B1 and B2 levels to refugees in the Netherlands. This past January marked the official one year anniversary of Right2Education’s first class with the guest students.
AUC asked Ellen Ackroyd (member of the Right2Education Board and co-chair of AUC Student Council) to look back at their accomplishments, discuss what challenges they faced and what plans are in place for the future of Right2Education.
Overcoming financial challenges
A year later and we are still facing challenges daily, but now with greater knowledge and resources than before to propose solutions to these issues. Becoming an official foundation (stichting) has enabled us to have a more concrete funding framework rather than solely relying on sporadic donations. Parties such as Oranje Fonds and the Rotary Club have showed interest in financially contributing to the project. However, we do still struggle at times with the costs of events and materials, for which we rely on the generosity of our family, friends and peers.
However, this consolidation of finances has allowed us to expand our programme and educational offerings. After hearing from our students that there was a lack of English language courses available, we decided to create English lessons in collaboration with the Anglia Network, who provided us with books and other materials. Similar to the Dutch classes, guest students are co-taught by AUC students with levels ranging from beginner (A1) to advanced (B2+). Next to the Anglia classes, there are also literature classes for all levels where popular texts such as Charlotte’s Web and Animal Farm are read and analysed.
Building networks and opportunities for cooperation
We have furthermore been seeking to develop our own network by, for example, taking part in events organised by Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam and a conference on the “Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees” which took place in Berlin. We are also hoping to increase dialogue within the University of Amsterdam by taking part in their upcoming events focused on refugee and guest students, but also by establishing a working group with members of ASVA Student Union in order to share insights and advice.
A bright future for Right2Education
We are looking forward to the next year and are already planning to celebrate Ramadan by holding an Iftar feast with our guest students. This is on top of our already regular events such as games night, cooking workshops, karaoke sessions, film screenings and cultural exchange evenings. We can’t wait to see where 2017 will take us and what new ideas will be realised along the way!
AUC would like to commend all those involved with Right2Education for their hard work and dedication, and congratulate them on the success of the initiative. AUC would especially like to thank Ellen Ackroyd for her contribution to this article.