African Students Experience Racism Over Russia-Ukraine War
5 months ago, thousands of African students fled Ukraine following the Russian invasion. It has been well documented the racism we experienced at the borders trying to leave, but little has been said about, what has happened in the last 5 months… where are we now?
On a daily basis I recieve messages, of well wishers sharing how this university is offering oppurtunities for Ukranian students, how this university has paired to support Ukrainian students…
Although well intended, what they don’t realise is those opportunities are for Ukrainians. Not Africans, not Indians… only Ukrainians.
Nothing has changed, most of us have still been unable to continue with our education.
Many have been denied temporary protection, some returned back home to their countries of origin, the Nigerian students were told that aslong as they are schooling online (whilst the war was ongoing) their degree would not be accepted in Nigeria.
We tried to obtain our transcripts so we could transfer our credits elsewhere, we were told no it’s not possible or we would be required to go back to Ukraine, to get our transcripts.
Those who have not returned have been dispersed all over Europe, just trying to stick it out and hope for the best. Some have even lost their lives in these countries.
Most are homeless, most are unable to work due to not having settled status, but also being denied the temporary protection to solidify their refugee status.
We knocked on every door, sent emails, started petitions, spoke to the press… but nothing changed. Africans were not afforded the same empathy, support, humanitarian support that our Ukrainian counterparts were, so the cycle continues.
Many have given up, on the idea of ever completing their schooling.
We started a petition that has gained almost 35,000 signatures, yet nothing. We have emailed everyone you can think of looking for support and advocacy, still nothing.
Next month is the @UN #TransformingEducation summit, and my plee is education is a right, and a right that should be afforded to everyone despite their race or nationality and the treatment and complete lack of support of African students…
especially from our own world leaders and humanitarian organisations was and is appalling. All the students want to do is learn… and our voices have been continuously ignored and disregard. This whole experience has been re-traumatising and very discouraging
So the powers at be if you are reading this please don’t forget about #africansinukraine , nothing has changed for a number of African students who fled Ukraine.
@UNYouthConvey @UNICEF @UNESCO @UNFoundation @UN @UNHumanRights @Refugees