In partnership with Woking Borough Council, Woking People of Faith held our annual Refugee Week Event on Tuesday 18th June at the HG Wells Conference & Events Centre. Approximately 200 people attended. Simon Trick, WPoF Chair and Kauser Akhtar WPoF Trustee welcomed everyone and The ‘I Speak Music’ orchestra opened the performances and had us all singing along. We watched performances from Dance Woking, which included Ceyda Tanc and the Amina Khayyam Dance Company. We then listened to moving poetry from Shah Jahan Mosque. Rami Merhi, a member of the orchestra, spoke about moving to Woking from Syria in 2016 and working alongside the Advancing Artists program. Artwork was displayed around the events centre by various community arts groups who worked with Maria Lima. The Horsell Bangladeshi Women’s Group closed with a fascinating talk on different saris, educating us all. The Mayor gave a personal story about how a refugee family has impacted her own family as well as the positive welcome refugee families always receive from Woking residents. A raffle was held and we enjoyed good conversations over a delicious buffet meal.
Refugee Week takes place every year around World Refugee Day on the 20th June. In the UK, Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK and encourages a better understanding between communities.
Refugee Week started in 1998 as a direct reaction to hostility in the media and society in general towards refugees and asylum seekers. An established part of the UK's cultural calendar, Refugee Week is now one of the leading national initiatives working to counter this negative climate, defending the importance of sanctuary and the benefits it can bring to both refugees and host communities.
The aims of Refugee Week:
Date: Tuesday 18th June 2019
Location: HG Wells Conference & Events Centre
Time: 6pm - 8pm