Student Action for Refugees (STAR) is a student-run organization at the American University in Cairo (AUC). Our primary mission is to provide support to refugees of all nationalities in Cairo. One of the ways we do this is by organising accessible, affordable language (English and Arabic) and arts classes for Cairo's refugee population in accordance with the principle that access to education is a basic right guaranteed by international human rights law. Founded in 2001, STAR Cairo has grown from a handful of classes held at the Downtown campus of the American University in Cairo into an organization serving more than five hundred and fifty students each semester through English language classes at AUC's Downtown campus and through Arabic classes and library services at our satellite center in Ain Shams.
On one level, we see language learning as a promising path toward self-improvement, economic stability, and self reliance. On another, we believe that speaking an international language such as English expands our students' educational horizons, enables communication between different social groups, and bridges gaps between cultures. STAR has also included Egyptians in our events and activities so that we can build camaraderie between refugees and the Egyptians in whose country they have sought peace and protection.
Our arts program includes arts and crafts classes. We also organise arts and crafts bazaars for refugees which serve as a means of income for them. Students from the classes have an opportunity to sell their wares at the bazaars, as well as artists from Cairo’s diverse refugee community.
Our goal is to bring help in whatever way we can to the refugees in Cairo, and to affect more and more lives as we grow.
STAR Cairo is an affiliate of STAR, a network of student groups in the United Kingdom that works to improve the lives of refugees through volunteering, fundraising and campaigning. The STAR network began as a student group in 1994 in Nottingham, Britain, and now provides leadership for more than 20 student groups across the UK.