PROJECTS PAST AND PRESENT
UCAS Support and scholarship mentoring for UKHE.
UCAS Application support and Personal Statement Advice. PLEASE NOTE THE DEADLINE FOR UG APPLICATIONS FOR 2017 IS 15/01/2018
This project focuses on providing mentoring and support for refugees and asylum seekers who are applying for higher education in the UK. The project aims to support prospective students with UCAS applications and personal statement advice as well as offering mentoring and research support to students who are looking for scholarships and funding. We are not an agent and we will not write your personal statement for you nor will we advise on which University course you should choose. Advice on choosing courses and Universities and choosing between courses can be found on the UCAS website. Similarly we don't give student VISA advice or on access to higher education advice. However, we can support you in navigating the UCAS applications portal and making your application online. We can also advise on how to write a personal statement, how to provide proof of prior qualifications and how to add your qualifications in to the UCAS portal. You can also apply for a Blue Door grant to pay for your UCAS application.
Scholarship Research and Mentoring.
We have a team of volunteers who can support you with researching scholarship, bursary and grant opportunities in the UK. If you require support with this please get in touch and we will team you up with a mentor who will help you identify various the sources of funding available and support you in making applications to charities, trusts, Universities and various other private and public organisations. You will be expected to work alongside your mentor and to do some research yourself. You will also need to write your own personal statements for funding applications.Some useful links.
LIVE PROJECT: GYM FOR REFUGEES. CAN YOU HELP?
Our Germany gym project was a massive success thanks to the friendship cafe in Gloucester and the fitness mill in Stroud. We collected gym equipment to set up two gyms at refugee housing facilities in south germany. The project was part of a broader aim to improve the health and wellbeing of refugees in the area and it is linked to our summer art project in Neumarkt in Der Oberpfalz. We collected benches, weights, 3 cross trainers and 2 treadmills, punch bags and a rowing machine alongside mats, gloves, ropes, free weights, racks benches. We are still interested in taking donations for gym projects in other locations
Pikpa Art Project Lesvos
In July 2017 we worked alongside Art For Action to organise a mural project at Pikpa camp on Lesvos. All funds for the Art materials and Art for Action Travel were raised by Art for Action with volunteers and funding for their travel being provided through personal funds from Blue Door Directors.
Bochum Mural project
In July 2016 we worked alongside Art For Action and mural artists Alice cunningham and Frances Copeman on an art and well being project at a refugee camp in Bochum, Germany. We spent a week in the camp running art workshops, a cinema and free food cafe and we painted a 15 x 50 metre mural and made a no borders corner with flags and messages of hope, peace and solidarity. We painted snakes and ladders, hop scotch and other games on the floor of the camp and created a permanant football pitch for the residents. We raised £750 through a crowdfunder and recieved a generous donation of £500 from refugee Aid Stroud. The remaining project costs were jointly met by Blue door and Art for Action.
Blue Door Cinema Projects.
In the summer of 2016 we set up our first cinema on a camp in North Germany. Over the course of several projects the cinema, and our library of films, has grown and we'd like to share that with other camps. In conjunction with Rose Illingworth from Art for Action we decorated a bauwagen to use as a pop up cinema and showing our first episode of pingu to some very happy kids. Pop up cinemas provide a place to laugh, snuggle up, stay warm and escape from the trials of daily life together. They provide a space for learning, sharing and forgetting everything for a moment. Our first cinema was started with a £35 projector and a £20 screen and it provided hours of fun and entertainment. Since then we have provided further projectors to projects in Greece and Germany. With £1200 we can fund a minimum of 6 cinemas in camps across Europe and we can provide access to a library of culturally appropriate films. If you work on a camp and you would like some help to set up a cinema please get in touch. We can provide equipment, films and advice and access to our dropbox account when you connect with the project. If you want to donate or get involved please get in touch.
Our postcards from syria project is aimed at developing links with artists working inside Syria. our resident artist Razan Abdullah and Nour Almahrous have designed the first cards in the series, these are now on sale through this website, along with mugs with the same designs. Razan has also completed two beautiful paintings which we will be printing on canvas and auctioning to raise money for refugee projects and to support the work of our Syrian artists. We have promoted the work of a number of artists from Syria and Afghanistan.
Postcards from syria
Lesvos Aid Runs
In November 2015 we sent two volunteers and a van full of aid to Lesvos for 3 weeks. We raised £5.5K to aid refugees and received donations of clothing from Refugee Aid Stroud. We also collected woodburners, wheelchairs, crutches and medical supplies from independent donators and £500 of food aid which we purchased with personal cash. We ran a shuttle service for refugees arriving by boat to Skala Sikiminias from Turkey in the night and in the day we worked at the port providing breakfasts and lunches. We worked alongside O Allos Anthropos and no borders providing hot meals at Tsmakia beach and independently providing warm clothing, social support and breakfast and packed lunches at the port.
In December 2015 we returned to Lesvos and teamed up with independent volunteer Ida Shehu to provide a taxi service and emergency aid for refugees. we worked alongside CARITAS, Green Gates and No Borders and ran shuttles to hospitals and camps. We recieved over £6K in donations through our crowdfunding pages alongside some generous support for individual medical emergencies from Bridge 2 and some private benefactors. Much of our work in December and January entailed distributing food, medical and clothing aid from Green Gates to various points on the island.
In July 2017 we delivered Aid to H4H on Lesvos and provided volunteer hours to help them move to a new warehouse.
In September 2017 we returned with more aid and volunteers and spent 5 months raising funds. Details of this project can be found below.
In August 2016 we visited a brand new container camp on the Essen/ Bochum border and made a large moveable mural with adults and children on the camp. due to a lack of funding and time we were only able to stay for 2 days but we hope to return to do another project when the camp is more established.
Camp cinema Project
In August 2016 we were asked to return to Bochum to renovate a shepherds hut which is to be used to provide a cafe and cinema for the camp. We spent five days working with Art for Action on the project and we did face painting, games, cooking, a cinema and other activities with the children on the camp. We raised £550 for this and project 5 but we had quite a large shortfall in funding so the remaining costs were met by personal funds.
Refugee rescue fundraiser.
In December 2015 we raised £3360 for refugee rescue's Mo Chara appeal. Refugee Rescue is a skilled Search and Rescue (SAR) crew, a humanitarian and non political NGO started in 2015. The crew and their rescue boat ‘Mo Chara’ (‘My Friend’ in Irish) are currently based in Lesvos Greece, where they have helped thousands of refugees fleeing war and persecution. They remain active in responding to and helping families in desperation that are still crossing the treacherous seas from Turkey.
Humans 4 Humanity: UPDATE BDP Wish to publicly dissassociate themselves with H4H due to their unethical and unprofessional practice and concerns about potential misuse of funds.
Between July 2017 and March 2018 BDP operated solely on Lesvos assisting with operational management and projects at the House of Humanity for Humans 4 Humanity. We have undertook two aid runs, provided 100s of volunteer hours split between several volunteers and we networked with partners in the UK and Germany to bring in containers of aid to the House of Humanity.
The information about the activities during this time has been kept here to provide a record for donors however we would like to take this opportunity to highlight that due to a number of threats being made by H4H staff against refugees and volunteers and a lack of transparency about donor money we have decided that we can no longer support them or endorse their projects. The remainder of the text in this post and the donate buttons have preserved in their original form in the event that they are needed for legal purposes but we can take no responsibility for any misuse of funds by H4H and we are not in any way encouraging our supporters to use the donate button on this page.
The House of Humanity 2.0 is the second incarnation of a centre that provides a range of services to refugees who are based mostly in Kara Tepe and Moria camps on Lesvos. The main focus is delivering aid in a way that enhances human dignity, wellbeing and individual agency. There is a wealth of research that shows that freedom, autonomy and choice enhances human happiness and we recognise that these are the things that are removed from the individual during the process of displacement. The ‘shopping’ style method of aid delivery at Humans 4 Humanity helps us accomplish these objectives through our free food supermarket, which is run on a points system, and free clothing boutique where individuals can shop for the items they want and need. We also have a cafe; kids play area; cinema; a full-sized astro-turf football field and an arts and crafts area.
House of Humanity is a grassroots organisation, run by and for Refugees, with the support of international volunteers. By providing volunteer work for Refugees who are residents in the camps we hope to foster an environment where we encourage self help, the development of important skills and experience and community engagement. We pride ourselves on our ethical code of conduct; a family type structure; a relationship of reciprocity between those who serve and who are served; and an environment which enhances psychosocial wellbeing whilst meeting peoples material needs.
We are entirely dependent on donations to keep the doors open and the shelves stocked. We can serve 150 singles, or 75 families per day, with the groceries, toiletries and clothing of their choice.
H4H: Some Facts and Figures
Between September and December 2017 we gave out a staggering 785’570 points in our free food supermarket. These were spread across families from the camps; single men and women; our refugee volunteers Friday shop; emergency food packs for families in Mytilini and Athens; some points were allocated to dry goods for the cafe. We also gave away an extra 320’000 points in free hygiene items,
To make sense of the numbers above: single adults and kids over 14 receive 150 points per shop, pregnant women and unaccompanied minors receive 200 points each, children 18 months to 14 years are given 50 points. A family of 7 can therefore accumulate 700-750 points for their shopping session. One record breaking Afghan family we received in December spent 900 points. All families with infants and toddlers are given free baby milk and diapers as we don’t want families to have to choose between food and baby care items.
We have distributed over 380’000 single clothing items in the last 4 months and, through our ‘Network Aid’, project we have shared around 60 van loads of aid with other groups and NGO’s on the island. These groups include; Euro relief, One Happy Family, Little Happy Family, Kara Tepe Camp, Gateway 2 Life, The Hope Project, No Borders Kitchen, Pikpa Camp, The Local Hospital, Doc Mobile, Sultana Mobile Kitchen, Refugees 4 Refugees and Starfish. We have also served members of the local community who are living below the poverty line.
Our ‘Network Aid’ project has enabled; blankets, towels, pushchairs and prams, baby beds, maternity packs, diapers, clothing, hygiene, medical, and dry food items; from our incoming CAREUK containers, to be distributed to where they are needed the most. We are incredibly grateful to CAREUK, SHAREUK, MerseyAid, Rasmachaz Stroud, People in Motion, We Care Foundation and many other small groups who have fed in to these containers. We have also received aid and sponsorship for operational costs from Help Refugees, Donate 4 Refugees, Heimatstern eV and numerous independent volunteers. We have no support from any large NGO’s and we rely entirely on donations to keep the doors open.