Refugee Week 2022
This week louder than usual, we say simply that refugees are welcome here.
This year, like last year, we are delighted to showcase the creativity and perspectives of young people working with REUK. This year the spotlight is on Zanyar, an aspiring photographer from Kurdistan who has a mentor at REUK and is a graduate of our Leadership Course. Zanyar was brilliant in last year's photo competition, so this year we're promoting his powerful images and storytelling. You can view his exhibition, 'My View', by scrolling down.
Refugee Week is a celebration of the achievements of refugees. It's a chance to recognise the challenges they face and the resilience they show every day. It's a moment to listen carefully and be led by their perspectives.
For those of us who haven't experienced forced migration, Refugee Week is an opportunity to overcome labels and preconceptions and affirm what we already know to be true: that our friends seeking sanctuary enrich our communities and have hopes and dreams and rights like anyone else. This week louder than usual, we say simply that refugees are welcome here.
We also teamed up with NCS, who have their spotlight on REUK and Angel, a young woman who is working with REUK's Educational Progression team and our anti-racism accountability group. Angel wrote a fantastic blog in which she reflected that 'it's surprising how little people understand about refugees. I hope that one day, we all come to understand the person before we understand the label.' We couldn't agree more.
My name is Zanyar, I am 18 years old and I live in Peterborough. I want to show people what I see from my eyes, how I see things. These are the pictures and videos I have taken for Refugee Week. Scroll down to look at them, and click on each one to read the story behind it. You can also click the music button to hear my favourite sounds.
Want to hear more from Zanyar? Take a sneak peak at REUK's new youth-led resources for volunteer mentors. Ever since REUK launched over ten years ago, we have recognised the importance of investing in our volunteer mentors. Providing regular, high-quality training to those supporting young refugees empowers volunteers and protects young people. We've been improving our training offering and felt that the best way to explain various elements of the mentoring relationship would be to ask the young people at the heart of it!
Check out Zanyar feature in this video, 'What is life like in the UK?', which was designed to give volunteer mentors a sense of what it will be like to mentor a young refugee. If you'd like to sign up to be a mentor, click here.
The full suite of 15 videos was produced by Salar Keramat, REUK's cinematographer and current mentee, and explores issues such as boundaries, the content of mentoring sessions, the challenges that young refugees face and the strategies to overcome them.