Asylum Day

Sheffield is known for its longstanding tradition of activism and community building which is reflected in its schools.

This Friday, I moderated a panel where a refugee spokesperson from City of Sanctuary gave a testimonial about his experience.   The panel is part of Asylum Day at the Silverdale School, where many of the students come from Somali and Pakistani immigrant families.

His name is Rodrigo and he was a political leader in Uganda.  He had a quiet dignity about him as he spoke about his beautiful hometown and his family, both of which he had to leave behind to seek asylum.   He smiled as he spoke about the numerous assassination attempts and being cold, hungry, and destitute in the streets of London.  He smiled as he recounted  his days in detention centers with only £5, living in constant fear of being sent back home to die.

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The kids had a million questions for Rodrigo during our Q&A session.  One kid asked why he smiled so much.  He said he smiled because could.  Because he was alive.

Sometimes, I think we tend to forget the human element when we deal with such big historical events.  Thank you Rodrigo for giving us a better understanding of the importance of human compassion and community.

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The Inaugural Post

Thanks Marc for helping me finally set up a blog.  For those of you wondering what I’m up to in Sheffield, you can check back here; I’ll update regularly, I promise.

A brief introduction; I’ve been popping in and out of the Silverdale School observing their PSHE classes.  (Mandatory philosophy and citizenship classes for kids! Exciting!)

This afternoon, I will be observing the 8th years’ (~7th grade) class centering on the religious, moral, and philosophical implications on the Life of Pi.   I find it both entertaining and  a privilege to be privy to the tiny philosophers’ discussions.  I think perhaps the key to bridging the various learning gaps in our children is somewhere in this type of  quest for truth and reason.

Today’s topic: If There Is a God, Why Is There Evil? Is there an absolute truth?

Will post their insights later. Ciao for now.

 

hanging on the classroom wall
Virtues and vices of reasoning hanging on the classroom wall