Refugee Week is a global event which takes place every year, running in 2020 from the 15th to the 21st June, centred around World Refugee Day on June 20th.
This year, it provides a timely reminder and a chance to take stock of the different circumstances we all find ourselves in. Over the last few months we have seen two incredible extremes…
On the one hand, we have seen the extraordinary lengths that refugees and asylum seekers will go to to make a difference and contribute to society, both in this country and around the world.
We will be celebrating this by sharing more about the recent experiences of Dr Wafaa Alnasan, originally from Syria and now local resident and trustee of Marlow Refugee Action. She recently featured in this interview with the Washington Post.
On the other-hand, refugees stranded in camps and at borders have been challenged more than ever before with the toughest of living conditions and a hostile reception at international borders.
The recent BBC Panorama programme highlighted the situation in the Greek camps. Here in the UK, the economic situation and impact of Covid 19 has made life for asylum seekers and refugees an even more precarious struggle for survival.
The NGOs supporting and advocating for them have become more important than ever before. We will be raising funds in the run-up to and during Refugee Week to support several of these amazing organisations.
So, our aims for Refugee Week 2020 are to raise awareness and to raise funds. We’d like to reach the parts of Marlow we’ve never reached before, and we need your help!
We are suggesting three options for getting involved, you can join in on any one, or all three, of our ideas. We would love you to share your photos of whatever you do for us to share on our website and social media, you can find links to our accounts at the bottom of this page.
1. Relay for Refugees
Refugees often have to travel thousands of miles in search of a safe home. Will you travel 5k or 5 miles for them? We were sad not to have had the Marlow 5 this year, so we want to kick off a relay around Marlow to raise £500 for refugees by the end of Refugee Week.
Money raised will go to Collective Aid to help with the purchase of a new vehicle for the distribution of aid to refugees and migrants sleeping rough in and around Calais. You can download our logo to proudly wear or display in your photos. Keep up-to-date via our Facebook page, and make sure to share with your friends and tag us in your efforts. #relayforrefugees
2. Solidarity Sleepout
Will you and your family swap your beds for sleeping bags and camp out in solidarity with those sleeping rough across Europe? Because of social distancing, we will not be able to come together for a joint sleep-out, but we will be together in spirit, for the night of World Refugee Day 20th June. Our target is to build a virtual camp of 50 people!
You don’t have to seek sponsorship to join in, but if you’d like to, we’ve set up a separate fundraising page and you can easily set up your own “sponsor me” event through this link.
Money raised will go to agencies helping support refugees sleeping in tents on the Island of Samos and in and around Calais. The cost to provide a tent to a family is around £40, or a food pack for a week is £10. Again, we’d love you to share your stories and pictures with us, to increase awareness by sharing with your friends and tagging us so we can see all the great work you’re doing.
This event will also be featured as part of our Refugee Week remote assembly package that we will be sharing with local schools as a resource. #solidaritysleepout
3. Syrian Supper Night In
Have you been missing the freedom to eat out in your favourite restaurant? We have certainly been missing our Syrian Suppers and the wonderful food from Imad’s Syrian Kitchen.
So will you settle for the next best thing? We will be sharing some of Imad’s recipes for you to prepare, and we invite you to have a Syrian feast in your own home. Maybe you could even share a neighbourly supper across your garden fence?
In exchange for the recipes we are inviting you to donate the cost of a meal out to support vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers whose situation has become even more challenging as a result of Covid-19. Please share pictures of your banquet with your friends to help raise awareness and tag us @MarlowRefugeeAction #SyrianSupper
Thank you for your support!
Reaching the parts of Marlow we’ve never reached before. #RefugeeWeek2020