Considering the political events of the last week, it seems more relevant than ever to take part in campaigns like 2009′s Refugee Week, which is about fostering understanding between refugees and people in the UK.
It’s been evident that a lot of us want to show movements like the BNP are not in our name and are looking for something more positive – so here it is, this year Refugee Week’s campaign Simple Acts, which…
“… consists of 20 actions that can be done by anyone and that encourage us to learn and do more with refugees. With every person who joins the campaign and does a small thing we get a little closer to removing barriers between communities and to creating the kind of world we all want to live in. “
Anything from watching a movie, reading a book, or listening to music with a refugee connection counts and can be added to the total. They don’t want grand gestures, or your cash, just for you to think for a second about the challenges faced by refugees in this country, and to celebrate our heritage of welcoming them.
As Almir Koldzic, Refugee Week National Co-ordinator said this week:
“It doesn’t take much to change people’s understanding of who refugees are. Just by doing one of these simple acts, like sharing a song or a book, meeting a refugee over a cup of tea, joining in a game of football or even just thinking about what it means to offer refuge to people, we can all get much closer to realising that offering sanctuary to people in need is a wonderful thing that should be protected and celebrated.”
From bloggers, as the Simple Acts blog explains, a post is an act in itself and I’ve enjoyed posts already from Matt Churchill, Anke Holst, Kate Evans Bush and a class of 8 year olds from Wrexham who defined refuge.
So I’m tagging Neville Hobson, Charlie Beckett, Tom Phillips, Michael Litman, Rax Lakhani and Mike Atherton! Hope you guys can manage a post, or a ‘Pass it on’ a la Rachel from North London, or if not, some support via @simple_acts would be grand.
Benjamin Zephaniah says Refugee Week moves us towards: “a society here where compassion is built into our culture, in this society we will be so aware of the world around us that we will not need a Refugee Week. Until then this is how we do it.“”