Refugee Week is held in June each year and celebrated across the country. This national event was first held in 1998 and developed in response to the increasingly negative perceptions of refugees and asylum seekers held by the general public in Britain, fuelled by persistently hostile media coverage of the asylum issue. It is the only UK-wide event that attempts to counter this negative climate, defending the importance of sanctuary and the benefits it can bring to both refugees and host communities.
Refugee Week provides a platform where positive images of refugees can be promoted in order to create a culture of welcome throughout the UK. At ISS our ultimate aim is to create better understanding between different communities and to encourage successful integration enabling refugees to live in safety and to continue making a valuable contribution to the UK. We have held a series of awareness workshops in Harlow and Uttlesford to provide information which educates and raises awareness of the reality of refugee experiences.
The aims of Refugee Week are:
- To encourage a diverse range of events to be held throughout the UK, which facilitate positive encounters between refugees and the general public in order to encourage greater understanding and overcome hostility
- To showcase the talent and expertise that refugees bring with them to the UK
- To explore new and creative ways of addressing the relevant issues and reach beyond the refugee sector
Refugee Week is a unique opportunity for us all to experience and celebrate the rich diversity of refugee communities through theatre, music, dance, film and other events which take place all over the UK and highlight the aims of the Week, as outlined above.
Refugee Week is an umbrella participatory festival that allows a wide range of refugee community organisations, voluntary and statutory organisations, schools, student groups and faith based organisations to host events during the week.
Integration Support Services would like to encourage more partners particularly schools to join us in future celebrations for this event to raise awareness and better understanding among the younger generations.
To get involved or to have a awareness workshop in your school/organisation please contact us on 01279 639442.