Refugee Week 2013

On June 17 we held a sell-out screening of I am Nasrine at the Ultimate Picture Palace.

This BAFTA-nominated film tells the story of Nasrine and Ali, sister and brother in a middle-class Iranian home. When Nasrine has a run-in with the police, her father orders them both to travel to the UK. Arriving in Britain, their future is far from certain, and as Nasrine finds the courage to accept her fate, she discovers that her journey is really just the beginning.

Fundraising Event, May 2013

On May 2 Asylum Welcome joined forces with the Old Fire Station to raise awareness of asylum seekers and homelessness in Oxford. The evening featured a moving performance from critically acclaimed ice&fire, Tim Travers Hawkins' powerful animation 1000 Voices and music from musicians from Asylum Welcome and Crisis Skylight. This thought-provoking and entertaining evening demonstrated the power of the arts in explaining complex social issues.

Seasonal Appeal Launch 2012

Our appeal was launched on November 20 with an evening of film, discussion and music at the Ultimate Picture Palace. The evening began with a screening of the award-winning documentary, Hamedullah: the Road Home. After a Q and A with the film maker, Sue Clayton, and an interlude of live Iranian music, the evening continued with the off-beat comedy Le Havre (2011).

Film screening for Refugee Week 2012

On June 18, Asylum Welcome held a screening of the critically acclaimed Welcome at the Ultimate Picture Palace. The evening was a great success with the cinema filled to capacity.

Escape to Safety Exhibition 2012

This interactive multimedia installation, built into a lorry, was positioned outside St Gregory the Great school throughout Refugee Week. Asylum Welcome volunteers lead a series of workshops aimed at encouraging young people to understand the problems faced by asylum seekers in Britain. For more information, visit the Global Link website.

Asylum Monologues 2012

The Asylum Monologues, performed at Magdalen College on March 1 in association with Asylum Welcome, was well received by a large and enthusiastic audience of students and the general public, and received glowing reviews in the Oxonian Review and Oxford Theatre Review.

The Asylum Monologues, scripted by Sonja Linden, presents the personal testimonies of asylum seekers in the UK.

'You know before the war in my country, I was not even thinking about coming here.  I was happy, I was with my family, everything was OK.  Why should I want to go? But things happen.'

Asylum Monologues is performed by iceandfire's outreach project. Actors for Human Rights, a network of more than 500 professional actors dedicated to drawing attention to contemporary human rights concerns; http://iceandfire.co.uk/.

Seasonal Appeal Launch 2011

Austen Ivereigh, writer, journalist, commentator and campaigner, spoke about his work with London Citizens and the Strangers into Citizens campaign. With government cuts, this year’s appeal was more important than ever.

Refugee Week Town Hall Meeting 2010

This public meeting was held on June 14 at Oxford Town Hall with keynote speaker, Shami Chakrabarti (Director, Liberty) followed by a panel discussion with Dawn Chatty (Deputy Director, Refugee Studies Centre), Innocent Empi (refugee/activist, Democratic Republic of the Congo), Emma Ginn (Coordinator, Medical Justice) and Emma Williams (Chief Executive, Student Action for Refugees). Entry is free, everyone is welcome.

Oxford Refugee Week Fair 2010

Our Refugee Week fair was held on June 19 at the New Road Baptist Church. Visitors enjoyed free cake and drinks, live music and exhibitions celebrating the contributions of refugees to the UK. This was a great opportunity to find out more about Refugee issues and campaigns, and talk to organisations in Oxford supporting asylum seekers and refugees.

See How I Land - poetry by Oxford poets and exiled writers 2009

An opportunity to hear a selection of new poems from the book ‘See How I Land’, read by poets featured in the collection, including Afam Akeh, Eden Habtemichael, Sian Hughes, and Lucy Newlyn. The book launch took place at the Quaker Meeting House on November 23.

'See How I Land' is the result of the Oxford Poets and Refugees Project run by the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre in partnership with Asylum Welcome. For more information on the project see the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre website.

Seasonal Appeal Launch 2008

On November 24, 2008 we held the launch for our seasonal appeal at the Asian Cultural Centre. The theme of the evening was ‘Walking in the Shoes of Asylum Seekers'. Our speakers were Helen Bamber (founder of the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture and the Helen Bamber Foundation which offers support to survivors of genocide, torture, trafficking and rape), Canon Nicholas Sagovsky (a key member of the recent Independent Asylum Commission and the Canon Theologian at Westminster Abbey) and Haifa (an Iraqi academic with a PhD in Library and Information Science) who spoke of her own experiences as an asylum seeker.

Refugee Week 2008

Public meetingThe main event was a Town Hall Meeting focusing on the theme of the report of the Independent Asylum Commission, ‘How we treat people seeking sanctuary in the UK'. Speakers included Tariq Ali (novelist, historian, political campaigner), journalists Melissa Benn and Melanie McFadyean and refugees Innocent Empi (political activist who fled persecution in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Marjorie from Uganda. It was opened by Hasan Bamyani reading one of his poems about his experiences as a refugee.

Sleep-out 2008

Asylum Welcome, along with a group of local refugee organisations (Refugee Resource, Amnesty International), supported Oxford University STAR (Student Action for Refugees) with their sleep-out in March. Its aim was to raise awareness of the issues surrounding destitution, collect signatures for the Still Human Still Here campaign and to promote the work of local charities working with asylum seekers and refugees. It was held at St. Mary Magdalen's Church and was actively supported by a number of local businesses.

Sleepout

Refugee Week Town Hall Meeting 2007

Several people whose stories were told in Nikki van der Gaag's and Rory Carnegie's book How the World came to Oxford talked about their experiences as asylum seekers and refugees and of making a new home in Oxford. The evening was introduced by the novelist Mark Haddon and ended with music by kora player and griot singer, Jali Fily Cissokho.

Media Workshop

Asylum Welcome along with Refugee Resource led a media workshop at the Beyond Survival: Towards Meaningful Lives conference in London organised by SERASC and Refugee Resource, which focused on destitution of asylum seekers and refugees.

Refugee Week 2006

There were activities throughout the week including a Town Hall event where refugees told their stories.

Refugee Week 2005

There was a wide range of events culminating in a Town Hall Meeting at which Jon Snow, journalist and broadcaster, was the guest speaker.