About

SolidariTee is a national fundraiser-cum-campaign. It is a demonstration of solidarity which, thanks to the money that it raises, makes a tangible change. 

Students from 11 universities across the UK buy and sell our custom-made SolidariTees to wear on the ‘Day of SolidariTee’, (this year, 24th November 2017), knowing that each £10 t-shirt equals one night of accommodation for a human rights lawyer in Greece. 

All the proceeds go to Advocates Abroad, an NGO which provides legal aid and representation to refugees in Greece and Turkey. 

Read a bit about why Tiara Ataii, President of SolidariTee, founded the campaign last year:

Having volunteered in Calais, Dessau, and Chios as a Farsi interpreter for refugees, I am no stranger to the NGO or pop-up charitable initiative. There is such a myriad of organisations which deal with every need, but what I saw across the board was a real lack of legal aid and representation. As a result, refugees are stuck in a strange legal limbo that always reminds me of Kafka’s The Trial, where a man is captured, arrested, for a crime he has no knowledge of committing and by an authority which he has no access to.

It shocked me – especially as a naïve student – that asylum seekers, stranded on Greek islands, and often with highly complicated cases, had no legal representation in what would be the most important few months of their lives. And that’s why I came up with SolidariTee, which is unique in being both a fundraiser and campaign. It’s a demonstration that says we believe in this basic human right. It’s a simple thought: everyone has the right to be fully informed in a process that could lead, if successful, to them gaining international protection, and if unsuccessful, to them being deported to a country which they may well risk death in.

And beyond this simple demonstration is a fundraiser. A demonstration, especially given all the discussion about the ‘echo chamber’ didn’t seem to go far enough, and as such, by buying a shirt, you can be sure that the money you are spending will go to a good cause. After all, a £10 shirt is the same price as a) a few pints and b) a night of accommodation for a lawyer.

Tiara Sahar Ataii, President of SolidariTee
SolidariTee is not simply a fundraiser. It's also a silent show of solidarity
               that is achieved by thousands of students across the country wearing one shirt on one day.

Design Story

The 2017 design

A note from the founder

The idea for this year’s design came about during a meeting between an Afghan man and a lawyer from Advocates Abroad, while I was interpreting in Chios. We were trying to work out the basic geography of his life; where he was born, where he worked, where he trained as an army officer, where his wife was from, where his son was born. Crucially, we needed the details of where he was captured and tortured by the Taliban, which we were hoping to include in his case as a key part in his claim for asylum. We struggled to find some of the English transliterations of the villages, and I promised the lawyer at the end of the meeting to take the map he had made home so that I could do some work on it that evening. While researching the names of the villages that night, I realised that I was holding his life-story in my hands. That map is now on the central design for this year, which you can see on all the shirts.

During that first meeting, I had noticed that his nine-year-old son had been painfully bored. At our next meeting, I made sure to bring some paper and a pen on me, as I knew that his father was trying to teach him to write in Persian. During the meeting, his son busied himself with a poem that his father had written himself and taught him. Whenever the lawyer and I were trying to work on small details amongst ourselves, the father would dictate a couple more lines to his son. At the end of the meeting, I had to rush off before I could read it, but on our last day in Chios, the father presented me with the poem once more, but this time written up by his son ‘neatly and properly’. This is now the design on the tote bags. It largely deals with maturity and coming of age. I like to think that you can trace the family’s story and hopes through what we’ve produced this year, even though they’re only snippets of what I imagine is going through their heads right now.

The right to legal representation is inviolable. You'll never regret giving someone that right.

Buy

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:

  • We're on Etsy
    Buy now

    Visit our Etsy store to see what we have on offer and help our campaign!

Advocates have been, by and far, one the most, if not the most ethical NGO I've ever come across.
               Having known the director for many years prior to the creation of Advocates, I can say I have never come
               across a more dedicated, compassionate person. And that spirit is reflected in other advocates as well.
               Advocates has been performing a thankless, vital service to some of the most vulnerable people in the
               world. It is a pleasure to assist them in any way that I'm able to. (Justin Cutietta)

People

These are all the people who make SolidariTee happen. (Want to be a part of it?)

  • National Committee
    • President: Tiara Sahar Ataii
    • Vice-President: Maria Epishkina & Mouki Kambouroglou
    • Principal Designer: Kaye Song
    • Webmaster: Edwin Balani
    • Fundraising & Events: Amy Baxter, Galaxy Henry, Imogen Runswick-Cole, Mouki Kambouroglou & Victoria Campion
    • Publicity: Ella Buluwela
    • Treasurer: Nicole Rosenfeld
    • Social Media: Jasmina O'Shaughnessy
  • Bristol
    • Co-Chairs: Grace Finger, Imaan Nazir & Jolyon Layard Horsfall
    • Treasurer: Anna Whaley
    • Fundraising: Tessa Baneth, Georgia Walters, Jess Davis, Char Ingle, Isabella Colclough & Lucy Roe
    • Social Media: Grace Ramsay & Jasmeena Shafri
    • Head Rep: Jonny Daitz
    • Reps: Aaron Drapkin, Alya Dikouchine, Anna Sharkey, Stephanie Lever, Pietra Aspro, Georgia Davis, Anna Georgevic, Priya Kler, James Ferguson, Becca Hogg, Kerra Pringle, Hugo Scott & Hattie Warner
  • Cambridge
    • Christ’s: Siân Smith & Lucy Ruben
    • Clare: Julie Ramambason
    • Corpus: Ladislaya Ladanyi
    • Downing: Isla Ziyat
    • Downing MCR: Shahd Fouad
    • Emmanuel: Matilda Spivey
    • Fitzwilliam: Anna Mareschal & Olivia Lam
    • Girton: Laura Pujos
    • Gonville & Caius: Honey Thomas
    • Homerton: Maya Yousif
    • Jesus: Lydia Day
    • King's: Inez Daltrop & Abdulla Qmsz
    • Magdalene: Celeste Abrahams
    • Murray Edwards: Emma Hall
    • Newnham: Sabrina Gilby
    • Pembroke: Flora Scott-Barrett & Jess Llewellyn
    • Peterhouse: Aimee Lister
    • Queens': Romy Welch
    • Robinson: Amy Baxter & Jasmina O'Shaughnessy
    • Selwyn: James Fenna & Jessie Dong
    • Sidney Sussex: Linn Amalie Moystad
    • St Catharine's: Clover Godsal
    • St John's: Elise Limon
    • Trinity: Hana Edwards, Zahra Seyyad & Muhammad Manji
    • Trinity Hall: Galaxy Henry
  • Edinburgh
    • Chair: Harriet Bell
    • Social Media: Ella Buluwela
    • Photographer: Cameron Keogh
    • Partnership Rep: Ben Cottrel-Boyce
    • Secretary: Phoebe Johnstone
    • Press: Phoebe Clark
    • Head Rep: Amy Harris
    • Reps: Minnie Randle, Karyn Joss, Emma Sharland, Niamh Higgins, Georgie Alford, Anna Broughton, Chloe Nelson, George Tomsett, Emma Penney, Honor Richardson, Issy Snouck Hurgronje, Maddie Ross, Euan Ross, Imogen McCall, Sabrina Kitson, Charlotte Fletcher, Frankie Eccles, Bella Madill, Phoebe Sundance & Eden Gundle
  • Imperial
    • Chair: Orla Williams
    • Head Rep/co-chair: Leila Aval
    • Partnership Rep: Santino Coduri-Fulford
    • Social Media Rep: Fatema Dawoodbhoy
    • Fundraiser: Subhashree Balaji
    • T-shirt Selling Reps: Zoe Chu, Diana Shroff, Santhosh Thava, Helen Ramsbottom, Emma Bayley-Melendez, Maria Greca, Ka Yan Cheung, Arsam Mahmood, Guglielmo Vecchio, Miles Brown & Sinéad Owen
  • Liverpool
    • Chair: Erin Drew Sexton
    • Reps: Anna Warbis, Fergal Spencer, Kazia Gmaj & Anna Scott
    • Affiliated societies: STAR Liverpool & Help the Homeless Liverpool
  • Oxford
    • Brasenose: Larissa Machiels
    • Corpus Christi: Robbie Fraser
    • Exeter: Naomi Packer
    • Green Templeton: Cate Moore
    • Jesus: Amen Sao
    • Keble: Ellie Gomes
    • Lady Margaret Hall: James Wills
    • Lincoln: Elena Casale
    • Magdalen: Ellie Baldwin
    • Merton: Oliver Stratton
    • Oriel: Becca Young
    • Pembroke: Mouki K
    • Queen's: Isabel Barber
    • Regent's Park: Georgina Sage
    • Somerville: Shard Clarke & Angela Matheickal
    • St Anne's: Rosie Coleman Collier
    • St Benet's Hall: Alice Gent
    • St Catherine's: Flo Ward
    • St Edmund Hall: Catherine Summerton
    • St Hilda's: Maddie Hancock
    • St John's: Fran Amewudah Rivers
    • St Peter's: El Blackwood
    • Trinity: Nicole Rosenfeld
    • University: Lowenna Owens
    • Wadham: Leela Jadhav
    • Worcester: Ben Darwent
    • Ruskin College: Eleanor Begley
  • UCL
    • Chair: Morgan Smith
    • Co-chair: Clemency Connolly-Linden
    • Treasurer: Blake Nielson
    • Head Rep: Juliette Boury
    • Reps: Asia Martello, Emma Söderqvist, Jack Van-Loo, Annie Mura, Mahfara Ahmed, Abbey Megan, Lizzy Nidz, Annie Gheasuddin, Daniel Mair, Olivia Ward-Jackson, Yasmin Sanghera & Sinéad Owen
Justice has no borders. (Advocates Abroad)

Join Us

We're always looking for more people to get involved with SolidariTee, be it this year or next! Drop us a line with your uni, a bit about you, and whether you'd be interested in being one of our reps (a representative selling 20 shirts) or part of the committee.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Ten pounds is the same price as (a) two pints and (b) a night of accommodation
               for a human rights lawyer.

Contact

If you'd like to get in touch with us, send us a message on our Facebook page or an email to contact@solidaritee.org.uk.

This is suprapolitical - this is something all people should be invested in.

In the Press

If you'd like to cover SolidariTee in an article or feature, please get in touch at press@solidaritee.org.uk.

  • Meet SolidariTee, the student refugee campaign

    Amid 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: SolidariTee

    For 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 refugees

    Advocates 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.

    — Varsity

  • The refugee crisis and Union+: How students can help

    She’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

  • The Vulture Show on CamFM 97.2

    A refugee can get hold of clothes or toys for their kids, but if they don’t have legal representation they’re always going to be on that island.

    — Tiara Sahar Ataii, speaking on The Vulture Show

  • Cambridge student’s campaign for refugees goes national

    We 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 refugees

    Ultimately, 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.

    — Varsity