Leeds Refugee Week 2024

Our Home
Refugee Week 2024

The theme for Refugee Week 2024 is “Our Home”.

Home can be more than one place and finding it can be a journey, as it is for so many of us who have to leave our countries and rebuild our lives. Sometimes we can find home in a single person. Other times it’s in a whole community. And often, it’s in a single gesture of care and welcome.

Together, this Refugee Week let’s practice our solidarity and make Our Home a more welcoming, safe and sustainable place for all.

Refugee Week is the world’s largest arts & culture festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. Established in 1998 in the UK, this annual festival aligns with World Refugee Day, celebrated globally on June 20th.

Take a look at what Leeds Refugee Forum got up to during Refugee Week 2024.

Women’s Mindwell Celebration 

We had an incredible Women’s Wellbeing Group celebration on Thursday with community, discussion and of course incredible Iranian food. We also were delighted to be visited by Bunmi from AfriKindness who delivered a session on self care to our ladies.

AfriKindness: “We extend our heartfelt thanks to Mr. Ali Mahgoub and the leadership of @leedsrefugeeforum for the opportunity to celebrate @refugeeweekuk together. This event has underscored the importance of community, cultural understanding, and the power of kindness,” says Bunmi Owolabi, CEO of AfriKindness.

Afrikindness celebrated Leeds Refugee Week with the @lrf_wellbeinggroups filled with laughter, smiles, music and the aroma of homemade food. We distributed self-care packs sponsored by @leedscommfound and Sir George Martin Trust, enjoying an interactive session on self care.

This event highlighted the true essence of home and why it’s vital for young people to feel cherished and secure.

Be sure to follow @afrikindness on Instagram for their latest updates.

Men’s Wellbeing Group 

Our Men’s Wellbeing Group have been busy organising and supporting events and programs this season. We had the pleasure of celebrating Togetherness during the Men’s and Women’s annual BBQ. We did more than set fire to our appetite, we shared outdoor food from various cultures and ways to do BBQ. 

We worked together to support Magpie by doing an art installation for a restorative nature conservationist that was used for a march in London. Our 2-metre eagle puppet made it to Channel Four news! 

Our men are so proud of our combined work. Everyone did their bit, down to each feather. We thank our kind donors for giving us the opportunity and the rewards. We can’t wait for our gastronomic evening outing with it. 

This Refugee Week 2024, we spent time supporting and reflecting on our individual journey and what it meant to us. We had a joint celebration filled with food, national costume, dancing and music by our own musician Shaho. We did it all again during the Refugee Week Cultural Day. Our boys had fun sitting in the sun and working/meeting other community members including other men’s wellbeing groups with music playing in the background by yours truly. 

Summer is coming and we can feel the heat, though main activities will not run, the Men’s Wellbeing Group still welcome our members and new ones to join us for our summer program.

Homework Club Party

On Tuesday we held a party for our Homework Club kids. Energy levels were high! After we finished our worksheets we had some snacks and played a fun game of musical statues. Our kids had a great time as well as our volunteers. A fitting end to a wonderful year of Homework Club. See you again after the summer holidays!

Cultural Day at Burmantofts Communities Festival

We had a lovely Cultural Day in Haslewood Park for Burmantofts Communities Festival. There was delicious Kurdish, Ukrainian and Eritrean food, live music from Yasmin and Shaho, craft stalls and everyone looked amazing in their cultural dress.

It was great to see so many service users and volunteers attend the event. Check out the wonderful photos from the event taken by @sondercensus

Leeds Refugee World Cup

We had a great turn out for 2024’s Refugee World Cup. A huge well done to all the teams who participated, and especially our winners the Eritrean team! 🏆 See you next year!

Refugee Week Flourish Party

Our friends at Mafwa Theatre held a family gala in celebration of Refugee Week 2024 in the Roxby Community Garden on June 21st. The event included music, food, performances, workshops and everyone was invited!

Bilingual Advocacy Service

LRF is now registered with the OISC to give Immigration Advice and Services. We currently have two registered advisors Khair and Donna who are able to help clients advise UKVI of a change of address, apply for a refugee travel document, apply for leave-in-line for children of refugee parents and contact the Home Office with regards to BRP cards etc. 

Many of you may also be aware of the government’s move from BRPs to eVisas. For more information please see this video. See how you can set up an account here. If you have already received an email advising you to set up an eVisa and would like some support. Please get in touch with Donna, Khair or Gulnaz who will be able to help you.  

At the moment we are still unable to help with any immigration applications, however if you are already a registered advisor or a solicitor who would like to volunteer with us, please get in touch. 

At the end of May we worked with Voluntary Action Leeds to deliver safeguarding training to all our volunteers here at LRF, as well as some of our service users.

The Refugee Week theme of ‘Home’ gave the advocacy team the perfect excuse to get together for a session dedicated to understanding how we can support clients with issues relating to housing. We then celebrated our own homes with food that reflected the diversity of our team. Thanks to all our volunteers supporting advocacy. We couldn’t do it without you!

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