We Belong is a migrant youth-led organisation, campaigning for the rights of young migrants, developing young leaders by providing advice, support and training. We engage 16–25-year-old migrants, once empowered, we work closely with young people to create a strong counter-narrative to the UK’s hostile environment by advocating for reform within the UK’s immigration system. Based in London, we serve young people nationwide by delivering our activities in person and online through digital activities.
We Belong builds on the success of our first campaign Let Us Learn (est.2014) with the aim to raise awareness and change government policy that prevented 2,000 young migrants from accessing a student loan, despite the UK being their home. The campaign was entirely led by young people who developed a 300+ community of changemakers. We were inspired by the US Dreamers, a group of young migrants who were also fighting for equal access to education. After successfully changing government policy for student loans and ensuring equal access to higher education, our young people recognised that they had the power to create social change and have a positive impact on society.
We Belong was founded with the dual aim of changing policies that prevent young migrants from participating in society as well as enabling young migrants to build power. We focus not only on symptoms of the issue but also on the root causes. Lived experience is integrated intentionally throughout the organisation from members of staff, volunteers and also our inclusive governance structure.
We Belong has three main projects:
- Let Us Learn: equal access to higher education for young migrants.
- Chasing Status: Advocating for an end to the UK’s hostile environment and calling for a shorter more affordable route to settlement for long-term young migrants.
- Leadership Academy: equipping and developing young changemakers to affect change in society.
We fight for all young migrants in the UK to be treated equally and fairly by the society they call home. We fight to help end the hostile environment around immigration and ensure the barriers preventing full integration for migrants are removed.
We foster relationships with parliamentarians and we advocate for young migrants by calling for a shorter, more affordable route to settlement.
We raise awareness of the hostile immigration environment and the issues around equal access to higher education.
We champion leaders by providing a platform for voices to be heard so young migrants can become change agents
We stand up and speak out for migrants’ rights and we challenge the status quo.
We uphold virtuous and honest principles to create a stable and transparent environment for young migrants.
3. LIVED EXPERIENCE
We build connections through the power of shared experiences by utilising storytelling to create meaningful change.
We listen, understand and show compassion, creating a safe space for young migrants to build community.
We advocate for young migrants and collaborate with allies to create systemic change.