On Friday 16th June, just before the start of Refugee Week 2023, we held the prestigious Schools of Sanctuary Awards. We are so delighted to have collaborated with Swansea Council Education Directorate and Swansea Arena to host this fantastic event. It was an opportunity to bring together children, parents, teachers, and organisations in the sector from across Swansea to share and learn what it means to become a School of Sanctuary!
“It was a fabulous idea to award the schools that celebrate the diversity of ethnic groups. It’s crucial to plant the seed of harmony in young hearts so that the world be a peaceful place in future. As an asylum seeker it gave me immense pleasure and a relief to know that our children are safe and welcomed by this country.”
The three schools receiving awards for the first time this year were St. Helen’s Primary, Christchurch Primary and Bishop Vaughan Comprehensive. We also had St. Joseph’s Cathedral Primary receiving a reaccreditation of their award this year following their initial award in 2019.
All these schools have demonstrated such a commitment to the City of Sanctuary vision, and should all be incredibly proud to be recognised as a place of welcome and inclusion.
The four schools each provided a presentation to celebrate and share their inspiring work.
“As a newbie to this project, I have had the opportunity to learn from the expertise of my colleagues. In my opinion, the accreditation process was smooth and the award, well merited. All the schools worked relentlessly towards this goal and this shows the importance they attach to humanity.
In the quest to meet the needs of persons seeking sanctuary, schools have offered holistic support and have done so unconditionally. They have looked beyond race, age, gender, ethnicity and disability.
Schools without learners seeking sanctuary have also created a safe and welcoming environment for prospective learners. Structures have been put down to foster a diversified curriculum and to recognise, support and celebrate cultural diversity.
Schools have put smiles on the faces of learners seeking sanctuary and their families. They have also been involved in sanctuary campaigns and have pledged their commitment to a vision of welcome to all persons seeking sanctuary.”
– Dr. T. M. Ako, Member of the Swansea Schools of Sanctuary Panel
We would like to thank all of our schools and staff for taking part, the parents and families who came to support our new Schools of Sanctuary, Swansea Arena and James Morgan for having us and supporting this event, Sian Summers-Rees for her presentation about the nation-wide initiative, Alma Habab for sharing her story, the High Sheriff for his encouragement and final thoughts, our amazing panelists: Carys, Cerian, Chinyere, Fikayo, Grace, Martha and Stephanie, our wonderful host, Funmilayo Olaniyan, and of course Ruth Castle from Swansea Council Education Directorate who made this all possible. Thank you all for your ongoing commitment and enthusiasm.