A special online event for Refugee Week

June 7, 2021

Jesuit Refugee Service UK invites you to join a special Refugee Week online event.

The 'Open Writing Space Showcase' will take place on Wednesday 16th June at 6.30pm on Zoom, showcasing the creative writing of refugee friends supported by JRS.

Refugee volunteer Ben who is supported by JRS UK, said:

“I believe I discovered a hidden talent within me as a potential writer and storyteller; being able to generate plausible storylines out of pictures or simple, everyday objects. I feel the need to recommend creative writing as another form of therapy which provides the opportunity for self-worth and awareness, but also acts as a counter to certain forms of depression or self-doubt.”

Poet and author Laila Sumpton, JRS UK’s refugee activities coordinator Dallya Alhorri, and refugee volunteers like Ben, have facilitated the Open Writing Space online over the last year. Each week, up to 10 refugee friends gathered over Zoom to share and create with one another – from poetry, to recipes, short stories, and even film reviews.

Dallya Alhorri, JRS UK’s Refugee Activities Coordinator said:

“I am very excited to share the work of our refugee friends with others this Refugee Week. For me, the best part about coordinating the Open Writing Space has been listening and seeing how refugee friends express their feelings and fly high with their imaginations. They are valuable, talented and skilled people and the situations they are facing now are not fair on them; I believe they need this space to share who they really are. It has allowed them to stand up and believe in themselves and show the whole world how creative they are.”

Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. This year, it takes place from 14th - 20th June and the theme is: ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’. We invite you to join with refugee friends on 16th June and to listen as they share their experiences, perspectives and creative work on their own terms. It’s set to be an engaging and uplifting evening, with opportunity to ask questions of Laila, Dallya, and refugee friends present.

The creative work of the refugee friends in the Open Writing Space has culminated in a poetry book entitled ‘Home is a feeling not a place’, edited by Laila Sumpton, which will be for sale during Refugee Week, with all proceeds going to the work of JRS UK.

Register to attend the event on the JRS UK website here.

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