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College receives national recognition for human rights

Understanding the suffering of those whose human rights have been abused across the globe has led to Sunderland College winning a national award.

<p style=”text-align: left;” align=”center”>Students from the college have undertaken a number of projects looking at persecution and mistreatment across the world.</p>
<p>Using the skills learnt on their courses they created a number of art installations, designed to make fellow students and staff at the college’s campuses stop and think about the human rights abuses taking place globally on a daily basis.</p>
<p>The projects which contributed to the college’s national award included ‘Burma Wall’ a representation of political prisoners in the country, and ‘Burma Path’ made up of 2,155 bricks each representing a prisoner of conscience held in a Burmese jail. Both of which remain in the grounds of Sunderland College’s Hylton campus.</p>
<p>Other installations and events included ‘dog cell’ a replica of the punishment rooms in Burmese jails, a tree-planting ceremony to mark Holocaust Memorial Day and a visit from a Jewish human rights organisation.</p>
<p>The national award has come from The Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) which singled out the college’s contribution to human rights at an awards ceremony held at the London Art House.</p>
<p>In recognising the college’s contribution, Kathryn James, LSIS development manager and one of the judges said: “Sunderland College’s work stood out head and shoulders above every other nomination. There was a variety of human rights issues covered and so many of them led by the students themselves. The project attracted the attention of the BBC World Service and even reached the ears of the Burmese people.”</p>
<p>Sunderland College’s human rights activity is led by a group of students, the Human Rights Group. Each year the dedicated team coordinates the college’s programme of events, galvanises the student body and adds to the lasting legacy of installations.</p>
<p>Kyle Maven, 18, from Hendon, studies Electrical Technology Level 3 and is a member of the Human Rights Group. He said: “People in other countries aren’t afforded the same freedom of speech as we are.</p>
<p>“The college’s Human Rights Group aims to raise awareness of these injustices and be part of the solution. We should speak out against other countries where religious, political and women’s rights are not heard or supported. We have the freedom to voice our opinions, while people in these countries are punished and imprisoned for their views.”</p>
<p>The Human Rights Group is facilitated by Sunderland College specialist disability advisor Peter Mulligan. Peter said: “The students’ passion for these causes is clear from their dedication and the creative ways in which they communicate their messages. They really are making a difference so it’s fantastic to see that their hard work has been recognised.”</p>

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