Word Refugee Day

Today an estimated 65.6 million people worldwide have been forced to leave their homes due to violence, famine, natural disasters, poverty or persecution. In the last few years, given the current global climate, the whole world would have heard about the refugee crisis, about their reasons for leaving their nations, and what it means to be a refugee in today’s world.

As Global Opportunities Officers, we felt that it was crucial for us to use World Refugee Day to help raise awareness of, and give our support to the countless people who have come from situations almost unimaginable to us, fighting for peace, family, love, education, and most importantly, life.

The day was filled with opportunities to give our support and increase awareness of the lives of refugees among the girls at Wycombe. We held a stall in the cafe where girls could write messages of welcome to refugees coming into the United Kingdom. This was then sent to Migrant Help U.K. to display in their reception for asylum seekers to read. We also made a video of girls saying ‘Welcome’ in the languages of the countries from which the most refugees originate, including Arabic, Tigrinya and Kurdish.

In the evening, we were visited by artist Teresa Albor, who held a workshop called ‘The Things We Leave Behind’ in which girls could explore real items left behind by refugees on the shores of Greece and and in a Serbian camp. After exploring the objects in detail, Teresa encouraged the girls to sketch them, in order to connect with the emotions and stories behind such items. Needless to say, we were all touched by the personal imprints that people had left on these items.

We were fortunate to also hear from Aster, an asylum seeker from Eritrea, who had fled due to religious persecution and came to the UK in search of a better life. She shared with us her touching life experiences and anecdotes. This personal touch really helped the girls gain a larger appreciation of the struggles that refugees have to face and of the fantastic opportunities we have, and was a great way to end this year’s World Refugee Day.

By Kimya and Manvi  (LVI)