Who we are
SolidariTee is an entirely student-led movement, started in January 2017 by student Tiara Sahar Ataii. In response to the dramatic decrease in media coverage of the refugee crisis, and her personal experience as a translator and interpreter for legal aid NGOs in Greece, Ataii set up a campaign that both raises money for legal aid, and shows solidarity with refugees.
Started at Cambridge University, SolidariTee has now spread to over 30 universities in the UK, Germany, the United States, and Australia. Over our first two campaigns, our student committees amassed donations and sales of over £45,000, and gained support from MPs such as Caroline Lucas, Jonathan Bartley, Tim Farron and Jeremy Corbyn, among many others.
What we do
SolidariTee is an expression of solidarity, and its remit is simple: each £10 t-shirt which we sell helps to fund legal aid in Greece. So that we can donate as much as possible, we purposefully keep our administrative costs very low, whether that means reusing wrapping paper to post our SolidariTotes, asking students to carry SolidariTees with them to eliminate delivery costs, and working from our dorms. It’s particularly important for us that the money from our donations and sales is used particularly effectively — none of us are paid for our time, in any case — and so we tend to choose smaller NGOs which we can help expand and grow.
We also fundraise through fundraising events — from stalls at Turl Street Arts Fair in Oxford to talks at the Cambridge Union, “Dance for SolidariTee” club nights to community SolidariTeas, photography exhibitions at Clare College Chapel and pub quizzes at The White Bear in Bristol.
We at SolidariTee strive to counteract the dramatic decrease in the media coverage of the crisis by loudly talking, and visibly supporting refugees through the wearing of SolidariTees. This year, for example, we have launched a series of infographics and myth busters on our social media to present clear information on the refugee crisis to our followers. At SolidariTee we also maintain a commitment to sustainable change. That’s why we support legal aid — by funding a lawyer or a legal adviser, we can ensure that we’re dealing with the problem at its root.
Follow these links to read the stories that shaped our current and past designs:
Who we support
In the past
To date, we have been supporting Advocates Abroad, an NGO which provides legal aid and representation to refugees in Greece and Turkey.
Watch this space! Names of NGOs for 2018–19 are to be released shortly.
You can help our campaign — whether you're a student at a participating university or not, you can buy our T-shirts and tote bags:
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If you’d like to just donate to our campaign and the NGOs we’re supporting, click this button to be taken to our PayPal page:
In the Press
Here are some press quotes about the work we've done! Use the dots to navigate the slideshow, or download our full set of press features by clicking here.
CUCFS teams up with SolidariTeePart of the way that SolidariTee works is by showing support for a cause through what you're wearing. Action can’t end there, and it doesn’t with SolidariTee, but it’s a good place to start raising awareness.
Oxford students join national campaign of SolidariTee for refugeesThe idea behind the t-shirts is one of silent demonstration. Aside for the ongoing photo campaign on social media, on the 24th of November this year students at universities all across the country [...] will show the world that refugees are welcome in the UK.
— The Tab Oxford
SolidariTee: Student activism for global issuesThe streets of Cambridge and all its social networks showed unity and support, and the campaign became not only a practical one but one with great sentiment too.
November 24th - National SolidariTee Day!Students can buy a T-shirt for £10, all of which goes directly to the refugees. It is a perfect way to know that your charity donation is making a tangible difference.
— The Sphinx
Refuge from the lawThe SolidariTee campaign aims to “bridg[e] the gap between students who really want to help, and have some awareness that intentions do not necessarily translate into effectiveness” and “lawyers in the field,” said Ataii
Meet SolidariTee, the student refugee campaignAmid European state nationalism and stringent control over inter-state movement of people, the SolidariTee campaign demonstrates the capacity for today’s youth to reach out across borders and support our fellow people.
— The Student Newspaper (Edinburgh)
Advocacy and Accessories: SolidariTeeFor refugees and asylum seekers, entering a new country is fraught with difficulty, not least because of the incredible complications of navigating a legal and political system that is entirely foreign and inaccessible without inside help. When people are at their most vulnerable, legal aid and information are valuable resources.
— Kit Smart's Blog (Pembroke College, Cambridge)
T-shirt campaign raises money for refugeesAdvocates Abroad deals with the cause. Legal aid is ultimately the only way that a refugee is going to be able to start their new life. This is evidenced by the fact that Advocates Abroad has a 100% success rate for July and August 2017: all the refugees they worked with were granted international protection and have been able to move out of the camp and onto the mainland.
The refugee crisis and Union+: How students can helpShe’s [Tiara, the founder] worked in refugee camps in Germany and in Chios, and over summer she’s worked with Advocates Abroad herself, so we know exactly where the money is going and how it’s used.
— The Tab
Cambridge student’s campaign for refugees goes nationalWe talk a lot about how divided society is becoming, so the idea of students from all around the country uniting around one message was a really exciting prospect.
— The Tab
Student’s t-shirts to raise funds for refugeesUltimately, raising awareness is just a means – not an end. It’s useless unless people feel compelled to act in some way – be it by talking to their MP, donating, protesting.
If you'd like to cover SolidariTee in an article or feature, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re always looking for more people to get involved with SolidariTee! Drop us a line at email@example.com with your uni, a bit about you, and what you’d be interested in doing.
We are also open to partnerships, whether from student or non-student organisations – just get in touch at our general enquiries address, firstname.lastname@example.org; we would love to hear from you!