School Project: Freedom Writers

The Freedom Writers project aims to use literary workshops to bring together refugees with established Welsh writers to explore themes with school pupils, culminating in the publication of work produced within the workshop sessions. Freedom Writers is a project that aims to give school pupils in Wales the chance to work alongside leading Welsh writers to improve their writing in a range of literary genres at the same time as learning from and working with refugees to understand their stories and their lives within Wales. The programme is delivered over eight sessions themed around global citizenship, freedom of expression and human rights; as such, the sessions will also serve to develop a creative partnership between refugees who have settled in Wales and the writers leading the programme. The scheme will culminate in a publication and an event. Dylan Moore, Jon Gower and George Gumisiriza already worked with five secondary schools in Gwent and each of their primary 'clusters', with the intention of rolling the project out to all schools in Gwent in 2017. These schools have now integrated ‘The Journey Project’, based on Shaun Tan’s graphic novel The Arrival, as part of their schemes of work delivered at Key Stage 3. The project also gave rise to media coverage on the IWA’s Click on Wales website and the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme, featuring Jon Gower leading a session with pupils from Bassaleg School, Newport. We also intend to roll this out further as a Welsh language project in due course.