SolidariTee is the largest entirely student-run charity supporting the international assistance of refugees and asylum seekers.
The make-shift refugee camps scattered around Europe are severely over-crowded and dangerous. Refugees arriving in Greece today will have to live in these inhumane conditions until 2022 for an interview which examines their right to claim asylum. Legal aid is so under-funded that thousands of refugees enter this highly complex legal process without any guidance. It is thus that deportation rates are high and often unjustified.
The only way that refugees can escape this collapsing cycle and begin prosperous lives is by accessing legal support.
Our campaign gets refugees out of camps by offering grants to NGOs that provide legal aid on the ground.
We are headed and staffed entirely by student activists, originating in a grassroots university context. We continue to be fuelled by the unbelievable energy, dynamism and ambition of young people within our organisation and beyond.
SolidariTee was founded in January 2017 by Tiara Sahar Ataii, a then-first year student at the University of Cambridge. After volunteering as a translator and interpreter with a legal aid NGO in Greece, Tiara wanted to raise funds for the refugee crisis, and increase awareness of the cause amongst her student peers. She decided to use her student loan to buy and print 600 t-shirts - or ‘SolidariTees’.
Tiara spent her first year of university delivering her t-shirts around Cambridge by bike. The campaign skyrocketed, spread to other universities, and became known as SolidariTee.
Over our first two campaigns, the SolidariTee student committees amassed donations and sales of over £43,000.
We earned support from MPs such as Caroline Lucas, Jonathan Bartley, Tim Farron, and Jeremy Corbyn, among many others.
See left: University of Oxford Representative Zara Baker standing
in SolidariTee in Florence
Now, in 2019, SolidariTee has 40 teams across the globe and we have mobilised over 700 student volunteers working towards a sustainable solution for the refugee crisis. We operate in 6 countries: the UK, USA, Jordan, Australia, Germany and France.
In order to raise awareness for our cause, we’ve brought young people together at club nights around Europe, panel discussions in London, pub quizzes in Amman, pottery evenings in Madrid, theatre company collaborations at the Edinburgh Fringe, and comedy nights in Durham and Bristol. We've been putting on effective social media campaigns, such as infographics (see right) and mythbusters, to equip young people with the facts they need to make change.
SolidariTee achieved a 2019 Diana Award, presented to exceptional young change-makers who have demonstrated a capacity to mobilise new generations to serve their communities and create long-lasting global change.
Tiara was also awarded the 2019 Cambridge Vice-Chancellor’s Social Impact Award. Her campaigning with SolidariTee was described as ‘humbling and incredibly inspiring’.
See left: Trustees Madeline Hancock and Mouki Kambouroglou accepting the Diana Award on behalf of SolidariTee