Guest post by Soizig Carey, Arts and Cultural Development Officer, Scottish Refugee Council

Refugee Festival Scotland is a celebration of the contribution refugees make to life in Scotland – the food and drink, music and poetry, dance, visual art and ideas that people bring with them when they seek safety in Scotland.

For two weeks every June, the festival offers people from different backgrounds the chance to meet and celebrate together: to sample a little of each other’s cultures, listen to each other’s stories and get to know each other better.

This year, over thirty refugee community groups are opening their doors and taking part in the festival. From Syrian food to Congolese music and poetry, from the Highlands to the Borders, these events show off the vibrancy and diversity of Scotland’s communities. Most of the events are free and all are friendly, welcoming and full of colour and creativity.

Refugee Festival Scotland is produced and coordinated by Scottish Refugee Council, an independent charity dedicated to providing advice and information to people seeking refugee protection in Scotland. Join us to campaign for positive change and to build a culture of welcome in Scotland.

Year of Young People 2018

This year we have put young people at the heart of Refugee Festival Scotland, with a selection of events designed to showcase their talents and potential. We invited a group of young people from the Scottish Guardianship Service to work with RISOTTO Studio, designers of this year’s festival artwork. We commissioned young graduates of Code Your Future to develop a brand new dedicated website for the festival. We are proud and delighted to bring their ideas and creativity to the festival this year.

More than half of the world’s refugees and displaced people are children. Young people are hugely affected by the impact of war, terrorism and conflict. But we know from the young people we work with that they are also able to adapt to new circumstances and go on to thrive in safety in Scotland.
The Scottish Guardianship Service supports young people who have been separated from their families and arrive in Scotland alone. The service is run in partnership between Scottish Refugee Council and Aberlour Child Care Trust. Code Your Future are a non-profit organisation supporting refugees with the dream of becoming web developers.