Caring students support child refugees

University of Buckingham
University of Buckingham

Caring staff, students and alumni at the University of Buckingham are supporting Syrian refugees in Iraq via the uni’s charity UBSOS (University of Buckingham Supporting Overseas Schooling).

The Alumni Association at UBSOS has donated clothing and school supplies to Syrian children in refugee camps in Iraq.

UBSOS was founded after the devastating tsunami of 2004, when students and staff members set up a fund to help those in need.

As a university with an international student body, students themselves often put forward projects from their home countries.

Past projects have included buying furniture and books for a school in Mombasa, Kenya, providing materials for a library in Chaco, Argentina, and equipping a centre for disadvantaged youths in Mexico with computers for vocational training.

Late last year, students came forward with stories of Syrian child refugees in their hometown of Koya, Iraq, who had been left without warm clothing and no access to school supplies.

As an organisation with a focus on children, UBSOS offered its help.

Several boxes of clothes and school supplies were collected, which were shipped to Iraq. There, Buckingham alumni who are currently based at the University of Koya distributed the donations to the refugees.

Chair of UBSOS, Anne Matsouka, said: “We’d like to send more to Syria. It’s still winter and it’s still very cold.

“Last time, everybody gave so generously in the collection boxes, and one of the women in the library even knitted beautiful hats and gloves.

“We would love to do something like that again. We have seen that very small things can have large impacts on small communities.”

UBSOS collects money through cake sales, pamper days, car wash days, the annual duck race on the Ouse, as well as donations made after concerts and lectures at the university.

The next event to raise money for Syrian children in refugee camps will be a cake and book sale in the spring, with games like hook-a-duck, for the local community.