What We Do
At SolidariTee, we combine education and awareness-raising with fundraising, so that we can give grants to NGOs providing legal aid to refugees and asylum seekers. Alongside this, we seek to act as a training ground for the next generation of activists, providing our student volunteers with the skills and confidence to stand up for refugee rights. Scroll down to read more about our activities.
Above all, we seek to unite the international community
in solidarity with refugees worldwide.
At SolidariTee, we recognise that knowledge is the first step towards meaningful change. With a marked downturn in media coverage surrounding the 'refugee crisis', many people simply don't know about the injustices facing refugees reaching European soil. At the same time, harmful misinformation and baseless stereotypes continue to fuel anti-refugee rhetoric across the international political landscape, with disastrous results for refugees, and for society as a whole.
We believe strongly that providing access to factual, up-to-date information, dispelling myths, and keeping the conversation surrounding refugee rights alive, are some of the most powerful ways we can make change.
Our work helps to raise awareness and provide accurate information about injustices against by refugees and asylum seekers, and about the importance of legal aid in creating long-term change in the 'refugee crisis'. We do this through a variety of routes, seeking at all times to provide accessible, inclusive and respectful content.
We host a variety of educational events, ranging from conferences and workshops to comedy nights and cooking classes, organised by our central team and by our 60 universities worldwide. In addition, our podcast, infographic and mythbuser series are freely available online and on social media.
SolidariTee offers grants to NGOs (non-governmental organisations) providing long-term forms of support to refugees and asylum seekers, predominantly focusing on legal aid. Asylum processes are complex, and almost impossible to navigate properly without legal advice and guidance. Legal aid is drastically underfunded and often incredibly difficult to access - in Greece, asylum seekers do not have the right to state provided legal aid prior to their asylum interview in the first instance.
In the 2020-21 academic year, SolidariTee has provided grants totalling £103,000 to six NGOs providing legal aid in four different locations in Greece: Thessaloniki in mainland Greece, and the islands of Lesvos, Samos, and Chios.
We are focusing on supporting qualified experts in legal aid and translation services, as we believe that legal guidance is one of the most crucial forms of aid for refugees and asylum seekers, with the potential to make an enormous long-term difference to the lives of those who have fled violence and persecution, enabling them to access the rights to work, housing and healthcare, and build lives in safety and peace in their new host country. Our vision is a world where every asylum seeker has access to legal guidance, as is their fundamental right.
The SolidariTee shirt
One of the things we’re best known for are our iconic t-shirts, or SolidariTees. In addition to raising vital funds to support legal aid, our shirts are a meaningful, visual display of solidarity with refugees.
The 2020 tees are vegan, 100% organic, and carry Fair Wear certifications. At SolidariTee, we believe that we can't fight for a better world without respecting the earth we live in; we reduce waste as much as possible and post shirts from our online shop using recycled and recyclable materials. And importantly, £8.10 from each £12 t-shirt goes directly to NGOs providing legal aid and other vital services, with just 4% of our income being spent on administrative and operational costs.
As the largest student led charity dedicated to helping refugees and asylum seekers globally, our team is at the heart of everything we do at SolidariTee.
We’re an international movement, with more than 800 student activists in 60 university teams across 10 different countries. All of our work our team of young activists is dedicated to furthering SolidariTee’s mission through a variety of events, campaigns and other activities, both on campus and within their local communities. Each individual member of SolidariTee is an advocate for our values, and we aim to empower students, as the next generation of voters, educators and policy makers, with the knowledge and tools to stand up for refugee rights throughout their future lives.
Each member of our team has the opportunity to organise their own initiative of their choice, either on their own or in a small group, in addition to participating in whole-team events and helping to sell our SolidariTee shirts. We also host a variety of workshops and educational sessions to build our collective knowledge base and skill set - as a student-run organisation, we're very much learning together, which is what enables us to react so quickly and retain such flexibility within our teams.
The current COVID-19 pandemic is a huge threat and source of disruption globally. However, it is vulnerable communities, including asylum seekers, who have been hit the hardest of all. Europe’s refugee camps are bursting at the seams but woefully under-resourced, and normal infection control measures are incredibly difficult to achieve.
To respond to the urgent health crisis, we launched our COVID-19 Emergency Fund in March 2020 - to support NGOs fighting for refugees even as the rest of the world was in lockdown. Applications were open to NGOs working to protect refugees from COVID-19 anywhere in the world and, after careful selection, SolidariTee are proud to announce that we contributed a grant of £10,000 to Kitrinos Healthcare to support their COVID-19 response plan, which involved the creation of a 'Nightingale'-style medical centre inside the island's camp.