Tutors and students to teach refugees through OXPAND

first_imgChrist Church, St John’s and Merton have all offered or are planning to offer places to academics fleeing the crisis in Syria, with several other colleges including Hertford and Wadham, expected to follow suit.Oxford University said in a statement, “The University has long been a member of the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA.) Working with the colleges who provide accommodation and invaluable financial support, we already offer the opportunity and facilities for academics to come and work in Oxford in cases where their academic freedom and safety are at serious risk in their home countries.“Given the present crisis in Syria, the University and colleges are planning substantially to increase our involvement in this scheme in order to help academics especially from Syria and neighbouring countries. The University is in contact with Oxford City Council to see what help we might usefully provide to help refugees through volunteering or through the offer of specialist advice.” Stephen Wordsworth, the Executive Director of CARA, told Cherwell, “Four Colleges are already hosting CARA Fellows, and discussions are now going on about broadening this, bringing in more Colleges. Cara’s Fellowship Programme supports academics, often in very immediate danger, helping them to escape to a safe place where they can continue their work.“Our Fellows come from around 25 different countries. Syrians are, of course, in the headlines just now, and make up around two-thirds of all recent applicants for support. It is worth repeating that CARA Fellows are not ‘refugees’ and don’t want to be seen as such. They badly need to escape from very difficult situations, sometimes from very imminent physical danger, but they are looking to get away for a limited period, and then, one day, hope to return home, to help re-build.”Wordsworth continued, “In terms of what we need at Oxford, we would ideally like to see Colleges and the University, between them, finding a way to take over the full costs. The total numbers are likely to be fairly limited – I can’t put an exact figure on it, but the standards at Oxford are, obviously, very high, and only a relatively small proportion overall of those we are helping will probably qualify.” Organisers stressed to tutors and translators, however, that OXPAND is not only about academic fulfilment, but also about establishing friendship with refugees and creating hope. As Simpson went on to tell Cherwell, “As the refugees Skype with our volunteer tutors and translators, they gain not only one-to-one academic support, but inspiring new friendships. Having the chance to study any OXPAND course they like, for free, brings them a real sense of positivity for their future: which, given the current refugee crisis, is incredibly valuable.”OXPAND began in the context of this summer’s on-going refugee crisis in Europe, during which a team of Oxford University students volunteered with OXAB (Oxford Aid to the Balkans), many working with refugees in Sofia, Bulgaria over the summer. Universities have been shut down across Syria because of the war, which Simpson says is “leaving aspirational and talented students little opportunity to fulfil their full potential.”OXPAND is also working in collaboration with a wider campaign effort, which seeks to secure scholarships from the University of Oxford for refugees currently living within and outside of the UK. Thaís Roque, who works with the Oxford University Refugee Campaign, Citizens UK, and the International Students Network (UK), told Cherwell that a motion this week has been submitted to OUSU calling upon OUSU representatives to support the Oxford Refugee Campaign. The campaign seeks to pressurise the University to sign up to Article 26 – a project which “now works with 14 universities, [and which] establishes UK-based refugees the minimum of a full tuition fee bursary [and] if possible additional financial support to cover the cost of travel, books and equipment.”Roque was confident about this goal, telling Cherwell, “I think there’s a good chance Oxford will sign up to Article 26 and I really think we have a good chance with the support of OUSU and students of the University.” While she admitted that “money isn’t going to be a problem, [but] bureaucracy might be,” Roque emphasized the possibility of a positive outcome citing the example of Jesus College, which “already has one scholarship for refugees…this kind of thing is possible.”“It’s a long term process,” concluded Roque. “Everything at Oxford takes time, [but] Anna’s project [OXPAND] is already giving refugees interested in education hope for the future.” Merton College Warden, Sir Martin Taylor, commented, “The College has chosen to become involved in this primarily because we recognised that there was a need to which we wanted to respond. Oxford has in the recent past been a place to which academics seeking refuge have come; among them Sir George Radda, the eminent chemist, who came to Merton after leaving his native Hungary following the events of 1956.“As with all academics who come to Merton, they bring their scholarship and their research talents; for us this is not simply an act of charity – they come and they contribute, and we see this very much as something from which we stand to gain.”The Dean of Christ Church, the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, said his college has now already welcomed a Syrian professor of pharmaceutical chemistry. “We took a decision several months ago that we would try to offer hospitality to academics at risk in the Middle East,” he said. “[She] was in Aleppo working at the university when she was forced to leave because of the instability and violence there. We are very glad to be able to offer her hospitality and support here.”This Sunday also marked the first meeting of a number of tutors and translators, the majority of whom are current Oxford University students, involved in a new initiative called OXPAND. With the aid of Skype, tutors are collaborating with students and translators in order to facilitate “the continued education of displaced young students awaiting refugee status”. OXPAND’s aim, stated on its website, is to bring “talented and aspirational asylum seekers the academic resources they deserve whilst they are waiting for status or living in refugee camps.”At Sunday’s meeting of tutors and translators, there was a wide range of students present, all hoping to give tutoring and translation services to refugees this term. Anna Simpson, founder of OXPAND, told Cherwell, “There are 24 refugees taking courses this term, [the] majority from Syria, but also Iraq, the Yemen, and Sudan.” OXPAND has already established a wider database of “over 150 volunteer tutors/student teachers,” meaning that each refugee should be allocated “a tutor and translator, or two tutors if no translator is required.” The courses, which are being overseen by a team of coordinators, began on Tuesday.last_img read more

Oceanside Harbor Dredging Project About to Begin

first_imgManson Construction is making final preparations for the upcoming Oceanside Harbor dredging project.Over the next few days, the company will move its equipment from the recently completed Ventura County dredge project and begin works on the Oceanside scheme.According to the city officials, there have been slight changes to the dredge schedule:April 22 – Fence off Lot 12;April 23 – Mobilize equipment to the Harbor;April 24 – Float plastic dredge pipe onto Harbor Beach;April 29 – Begin dredging operations;May 24 – All dredging is expected to be complete and all equipment will be gone.At this time, Manson expects to place dredged material on North Coast Village beach area for approximately 2-3 days.They will then place dredged material at Surfrider Way for approximately 1 day and from there move to the Pier.Overall, the anticipated mobilization of equipment and vessels is expected to begin on April 22, 2019, with a completion date before Memorial Day weekend, depending upon weather or other factors.last_img read more

Cathcart pulls out

first_img The Blackpool defender is suffering with a knee problem and will miss the matches against Portugal and Luxembourg, the Irish Football Association has announced. Versatile Aberdeen player Josh Magennis and Kilmarnock defender Rory McKeown have been added to Michael O’Neill’s squad for the matches. Press Association Northern Ireland host Portugal in Belfast on Friday and travel to face Luxembourg four days later. O’Neill’s side are fourth in Group F on six points, five behind third-placed Israel and eight adrift of leaders Portugal, having played a game less than the pacesetters. center_img Craig Cathcart has been forced to pull out of the Northern Ireland squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifying double-header due to injury.last_img read more

About Town

first_imgSHREWSBURYShrewsbury Youth Athletic Association (SYAA) will host its 17th annual golf outing on Friday, Sept. 21, at Pebble Creek, Colts Neck.The SYAA is an all-volunteer fundraising organization dedicated to improving the sports and athletic experience of the children of Shrewsbury.The organization sponsors clinics, pays for facilities and equipment that may be beyond municipal and school budget allowances, and supports both the recreation-sponsored and travel sports teams for Shrewsbury children. All SYAA funds are dedicated to the support and enrichment of the youth sports programs.The golf outing entry fee of $150 includes the greens fee, a golf cart, golf shirt, beverage carts, barbecue lunch, prizes, and awards.Additional information about the event or how to be more involved with the SYAA is available by contacting Bill Paterno at [email protected] masurety.com. RUMSONAslan Youth Ministries will hold its 7th annual John Reid Memorial Golf Classic on Monday, Sept. 10, at Rumson Country Club.The day will include a cocktail reception, open bar, awards buffet and 50/50 raffle. Men and women will receive prizes for closest to the pin, longest drive, hole-in-one and more.The event is sponsored by Buckman, Buckman & Reid and Walsh Benefits. There are only 100 slots available; participants are encouraged to register early. Event tickets, which are $250, and raffle tickets are available on Aslan’s website at www.aslanyouth.org.“We are looking forward to another exciting event where friends can enjoy themselves while making a real impact on the lives of local at-risk children,” said Craig Bogard, CEO of Aslan Youth Ministries.Sponsorship opportunities are available and information about them can be obtained by contacting Tom Buckman at [email protected] year, the John Reid Memorial Golf Classic raises funds to support the mission of Aslan Youth Ministries, a local nonprofit which provides relationship-driven programs that impact and empower at-risk youth in Monmouth County and Haiti.Aslan’s programs include one-on-one mentoring and tutoring, Bible classes and recreational activities. For 37 years, Aslan has been helping children reach deeply within to overcome their limitations and, with God’s help, find the strength to endure and succeed.The golf outing will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 10, at the Rumson Country Club,163 Rumson Road. RED BANKThe fourth annual Jersey Shore Men’s Conference will be held Saturday, Sept. 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Red Bank, 84 Maple Ave.The conference, designed to help men find the way to a new beginning, will be led by the Rev. DeForest “Buster” Soaries Jr., senior pastor at the Second Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset. Soaries is a published author whose messages have been heard in his church, at the summer series in Ocean Grove, and on radio and television stations worldwide.Men from more than 30 churches in Monmouth and Ocean counties are expected to take part in the conference.Tickets are $20, and include lunch, messages, and two breakout sessions. Additional information and reservations are available by calling 732-747-0671 Monday through Thursday or by visiting the website at www.jerserseyshoremensconf.com. ASBURY PARKMove For Hunger presents the fourth annual Surfside Food Drive and Concert Series to benefit the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.Area residents and beachgoers are urged to bring nonperishable food items from Sept. 1-3 to the Move For Hunger tent on the 4th Avenue boardwalk in Asbury Park. The three-day event features a movie night, the 2nd annual Surfside Cornhole Tournament at Porta National Park and daily performances by local artists right on the boardwalk including E Street Shuffle, Quincy Mumford & the Reason Why, Matt Wade, The Amboys and many more.Anyone who donates nonperishable food items will receive a free Surfside 2012 T-shirt and will be entered into a raffle to win one of the many prizes from event sponsors. The event is open to the public.Shore residents in other towns can take part in the drive as Move For Hunger has partnered with more than 20 beach clubs from Rumson to Normandy Beach to collect nonperishable food items all month long.“The Surfside Food Drive is a great way for summer residents to clear out the kitchens and pantries of seasonal properties while making a difference for the less fortunate on the Jersey Shore.,” said Adam Lowy, executive director of Move For Hunger. “Last year over 3,500 pounds was collected, enough to provide 2,692 meals to the needy in Monmouth and Ocean Counties.” MIDDLETOWNThe Middletown Township Public Library will host a seminar at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, on what to expect during the graduate school admissions process.A lot goes into the admissions process — choosing a school and course of study, assessing financial options, making the most attractive application possible. Andrea Thompson, a graduate admissions counselor at Monmouth University, will speak about the process and how it differs from undergraduate admission.The event will be held in the library’s community room at 55 New Monmouth Road.Funding for the library’s public programs comes from the generous support of the Middletown Township Public Library Foundation, Inc.center_img OCEANPORTThe BBQ and Craft Beer Festival will be held over Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-2 at Monmouth Park Racetrack.In addition to food and craft beer, this family-friendly event includes live music, an array of barbecue and festival favorites, and thoroughbred racing.Visitors can vote for their favorite barbecue and enter to win great prizes, including tickets to see the Broadway production of Jersey Boys.An addition to the event this year is special guest judge Chef Justin Antiorio from this season of Fox Network’s culinary reality competition Hell’s Kitchen. Jersey-native Chef Justin will be weighing in at the judges’ table and will also be signing autographs on Sunday, Sept. 2.The BBQ and Craft Beer Festival runs from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission to Monmouth Park is $3 and children, age 12 and under ,are free. General parking is $2. Food prices vary.Monmouth Park Racetrack is located at 175 Oceanport Ave. Oceanport,. For additional event information, visit www.monmouthpark.com or call 732-222-5100. * * * * *Pilgrim Baptist Church of Red Bank will host its annual community back-to-school festival, Tools for School 2012, at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.The event will feature workshops for students and parents that focus on preparing students to succeed in the upcoming school year.School supplies and lunch will be provided for all parents and students. The program is sponsored by the church’s Education Ministry and is supported by Red Bank Regional High School and the Red Bank School District.To register a student or to make a financial donation to this community initiative, call 732-747-2343. FAIR HAVENThe Fair Haven Business Association is sponsoring its Sidewalk Sale Days on Friday, Aug. 24, and Saturday, Aug. 25. Local shops and businesses will be displaying products in front of their stores, and there will be special sales and promotions.More than 60 borough businesses will participate during the sale that will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The sidewalk sale is timed to coincide with the first day of the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair.“It’s a fun time in Fair Haven, with lots of people walking around town. The town is lucky to have stores that you can walk to in Fair Haven, and we hope the townspeople will make a point to visit the stores during the town’s Sidewalk Sale Days,” said Priscilla Bahr, owner of Nature’s Emporium at 769 River Road.last_img read more