SolidariTee is the largest student-led charity fighting for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.
Founded in 2017, SolidariTee’s campaign reaches as many as 60 universities across 10 countries with more than 800 student volunteers.
The charity began its mission when Tiara Sahar Ataii, a then first-year student at the University of Cambridge, became inspired to raise funds for refugees for legal aid and increase awareness for the cause.
Among her studies, she used her student loan to buy and print over 600 t-shirts.
She spent her first year of university delivering her t-shirts around Cambridge by bike.
All the “SolidariTees” are ethically manufactured and 100% organic.
More than £8.01 from each £12 shirt goes directly towards funding NGOs working to provide legal aid and other vital services.
Why legal aid?
As the charity has developed, fundraising for legal aid has been the central aim of SolidariTee’s efforts.
The SolidariTee charity says access to legal guidance is a fundamental right, as well as a long-term form of aid that can be provided.
Legal aid, in the short term, minimises the risk of an individual who has a legitimate claim to asylum being deported unjustly and brings family members back together.
In the longer term, legal aid also reduces the pressure of asylum services.
Anna Marshall, executive director of SoldiariTee, said: “The only way for asylum seekers to achieve safety, and be able to live a stable life, is for them to successfully navigate the asylum-seeking process, including many forms and interviews.
“SolidariTee enables people to have the best chance of gaining safety, by funding legal aid services for refugees.”
The NTU Team
The NTU SolidariTee team started up in September and is currently working on multiple projects, as well as collaborating with other universities to combine education and awareness-raising with fundraising.
The charity has had a successful bake sale at the Nottingham Trent Students’ Union on December 1, and is also planning to team up with the University of Nottingham.
Tiara, the founder of SolidariTee, said: “My faith has always been affirmed by the students who commit so much time, energy and labour, and so much of themselves.
“The purpose of SolidariTee is to take an inward glance at ourselves.
“The refugee crisis is really about our failure to act, by our I mean the West, and about the systems set up that criminalise people who have done nothing but be born in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
What can you do?
Stand in solidarity!
Support your friends who are selling t-shirts this year, look out for SolidariTee stalls around campus, and check out the charity’s Instagram to keep up to date with any upcoming events.
Most of us would not think twice about spending £12 on a night out, so why not put your next £12 towards aiding refugees and asylum seekers get the legal aid they desperately need instead.
A big part of SolidariTee’s mission is education.
A great way to help is to devote yourself to seeking knowledge about refugees and asylum seekers and dispelling myths.
The NTU SoldiariTee Team is also recruiting.
To find out more about the available roles, get in contact with Yasmin Turner, head of the NTU SolidariTee team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lead image: Daisy Ward