The co-founder of a Brighton-based network delivering skills and language activities to those with limited access to education is raising funds to send educators on the refugee routes of Europe.
Darren Abrahams established Crisis Classroom with Kate McAllister in 2015 to bring educational activities to the Calais refugee camp.
“In Calais we converted a double decker bus into a school and trained 60 teachers,” Mr Abrahams said. “We have since adapted the skills and lessons we learned to be used on a global scale. For example, Crisis Classroom training in Italy led to a new business co-created by Italians and West African migrants.
“In many different locations we have supported people suffering the symptoms of trauma.
“We are now crowdfunding to raise £25,000 to send trained volunteers Alon Harshak and Melissa Ray from Brighton to the Balkans, carrying our pop-up classroom.”
Mr Abrahams — son of a leader of the local Ralli Hall Jewish community centre — credits his upbringing for a desire to help the less fortunate.
“As a Jewish man, I feel I have an obligation to do all I can to help those going through the refugee experience. I would not be in the privileged position I am now without the kindness of strangers shown to my ancestors.
“My grandfather was a refugee from Nazi Germany who made it to a new life in Israel.”
Mr Harshak grew up in Finchley and was actively involved in Masorti’s youth movement Noam.
“Being a leader in Noam taught me a lot about learning. There was, and still is, an emphasis on creative and alternative thinking and I think that’s an important Jewish value.
“In terms of the refugee crisis, I strongly believe that this is a Jewish issue.” The Balkans mission reflected his desire “to be part of the response”.