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Find out what happened at the Refugee Week Conference 2023.

On the 15th March, over 500 people from the UK and around the world gathered online for the Refugee Week Conference 2023. The event covered a range of topics including: the current global context, what Refugee Week is and how to get involved. We also invited our guests to reflect on this year’s theme of Compassion.

We heard from over 20 guests including speakers and artists. We were bowled over by our guests’ inspiring presentations and performances which were full of love, hope and compassion.

We hope those who attended it enjoyed it as much as we did and we can’t wait to see how everyone celebrates this year’s Refugee Week (19-25th June)

Here, is summary of everything that was shared along with key information, conference highlights and the fantastic performances by Ege and FaceSoul. We hope these recordings and resources will be useful to you when you plan your activity for Refugee Week. Feel free to share them far and wide!

Why compassion? with Dima Mekdad (Refugee Week Co-Chair)


Why Refugee Week is more important now more than ever before- Enver Solomon (CEO Refugee Council, Refugee Week Co-chair)


Global Context/Bigger Picture with UNHCR’s UK representative Vicky Tennant

Poetry Reading by writer & activist Ege Dündar
Our wonderful friend Ege, discussed his experience of living in exile from Turkey, the recent earthquakes and shared with us a powerful and moving poem from his upcoming debut poetry book.

Growing Compassion: Yusuf Baluch (Climate Activist) in conversation with Ros Wynne-Jones (The Mirror).

Journalist Ros Wynne-Jones met climate activist Yusuf Baluch, who was exiled from his home Balochistan after campaigning about the climate emergency in the region. The two spoke powerfully about what compassion means in the context of the climate crisis and global migration movements.

How to get involved with Refugee Week 

An overview of pathways to get involved, what resources Refugee Week provides, a timeline of what to expect, and talking through the Simple Acts campaign for 2023. Find out more here.

Creating a Foundation of self compassion, with Last Mafuba (Inini) 

The founder of mental health organisation ININI speaks with Refugee Week Producer Dalia Al-Dujaili on the importance of self-compassion and mental health for both people with lived experience of displacement and those who work in the sector.

We then heard from inspiring event producers, organisers and artists doing fantastic Refugee Week activities around the UK:

Refugee Week Hastings, with Rossana Leal (Refugee Buddy Project)

Norfolk Schools of Sanctuary/Day of Welcome, with Jake Rose Brown (Norfolk SoS)

Refugee Week Nottingham, with Natelle Morgan-Brown and Allan Njanji (Refugee Week Nottingham)

International Refugee Week Speakers 

We heard from international Refugee Week organisers: Natasha Davis (Berlin), Tegan Smyth (Hong Kong), Julienne and Deborah from Dance Beyond Borders (Malta), Dina Ntziora (Greece), and Adama Kamara (Australia) who are all doing incredible work running Refugee Week around the world.

Musical Performance, by FaceSoul

We were incredibly honoured to have FaceSoul join us and share two incredibly moving songs. The theme of compassion ran deeply through them. We were bowled over by his talent & music!

Mini Masterclass: Promoting your event and reaching local media, with Elahe Ziai and Katherine Maxwell-Rose

Elahe and Katherine from IMIX shared a mini masterclass on how to share your Refugee Week event through local media and how to promote your event via social media and other channels. 



by: Lara (Refugee Week Coordinator) and Dalia (Refugee Week Producer)