Refugee Week 2021 runs through 14th – 20th June celebrating the strength and contributions of refugees whilst raising awareness for people seeking sanctuary.
This week of celebration was first established in 1988 to help challenge the xenophobia and animosity that refugees encounter from society and the media. Refugee week is now a national action working to combat the damaging stigma as well as educate people about the important contributions of refugees, additionally providing them with a safe place to live.
It acts as a strong platform for refugees to share their experiences and the challenges they encounter when seeking asylum. This week looks to create a safe place where communities can build a better understanding of the issues that refugees face. It also offers an opportunity for people to be seen listened to and valued in their community.
Inclusivity is central to the event, involving activities and exhibitions which try to bring everyone together to raise awareness of the history and challenges that refugees face in their everyday lives.
We Cannot Walk Alone
This year’s theme of Refugee Week is ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’. It is inspired by Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech in 1963 during the American Civil Rights Movement. His words still resonate with us today and relate to all aspects of our lives.
The theme inspires people to walk side-by-side with one another by reaching out to someone new. It encourages us to connect with new people and learn something valuable from each other. It is an invitation to fight for a cause you are not involved in yet, meet others outside your circle, those who have experienced different life paths. This helps to make Refugee Week 2021 a combined act of reaching out, a space to listen and to exchange and connect.
How You Can Get Involved
Anyone can get involved by holding or taking part in an event or activity.
- Be Present at an Event or Activity
The official Refugee Week website have a few online events this month that you can attend at the comfort of your home. Events Calendar | Refugee Week
- Create an Event
You can organise a Refugee Week activity at your workplace or in your neighbourhood. Refugee Week have a few tips and ideas on how you can get started with this: Hold an event | Refugee Week
- Be Involved on Social Media
Get involved by using the hashtags: #RefugueeWeek2021, #WeCannotWalkAlone and #SimplyActs. You can also follow Refugee Week on their social media platforms and share posts that motivate you and your networks.
- Simple Acts
You can also take part in Refugee Week Simple Acts inspired by this year’s theme. These are simple acts that we can incorporate into our everyday life to stand with refugees and make new, valuable connections. This includes having a chat, watching a film, reading a book, playing a game and more. Simple Acts | Refugee Week
Written by Keisha Parry