A guest post by Refugee Action Kingston
On the 20th June on World Refugee day and the start of Refugee week, we held an event at All Saints Church Kingston, celebrating 25 years of welcoming Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Kingston.
“Refugee Action Kingston has been a beacon of hope for 25 years, standing by refugees in need, helping them to live safe and fulfilling lives in the UK.”
These were words spoken by Maurice Wren, CEO of the Refugee Council, as he addressed the audience.
It was standing room only as over 220 people joined with us to celebrate everything refugees and asylum seekers have achieved, through an evening of performance, dance, exhibition, music and inspiring testimonials.
All Saints Church opened their doors and became a stage for Korean Musicians, Brazilian martial arts performers, Sri Lankan, Indian and Korean dancers – a true example of Kingston embracing and celebrating diversity.
Students from Kingston University displayed their Migration Exhibition “Paper Boats”.
On arrival, guests were welcomed by a colourful spread of food prepared by RAK clients from our learning centre and to a backdrop of classical music. Gli Amicia Della Musica played music composed by Franz Reizenstein, a former refugee who sought sanctuary in Kingston from Berlin in 1934.
Performances started with the youngest members of RAK and was followed by Axe-Capoeira UK, Southborough High School performed “Root of my resilience” Benchmark Theatre “We were many” and finally a group of North Korean musicians.
3 of RAK clients highlighted through testimonials how RAK helped them integrate into the local community and into education and finally work.
Sanja Kane (RAK Director) dedicated the biggest thanks to RAK clients for their resilience and determination to continue fighting for a better life they deserve.
The evening ended with a collective sing song lead by Maria Soriana from Singing 4 Health.