Refugee Week events at V&A and Celebrating Sanctuary

Shelanu spent an exciting Saturday at the V&A in London celebrating Refugee Week!

The group led a drop-in workshop, Migrating Skills, inspired by this year’s theme for Refugee Week: V&A collection.

Shelanu asked participants to create an origami crane, a symbol of happiness, to highlight skills brought to the UK by refugees or migrants. They asked the question ‘What skills could you take with you if you had to start again in a new place?’ and encouraged participants to use their own experience, family stories or the V&A collections as inspiration. These skills were written on a tag and attached to the handmade paper crane. The participants added their crane to the growing flock with the display increasing throughout the day, in celebration of the contribution of refugees and migrants to the UK.

Shelanu had over 120 participants take part in the workshop and contribute one or more origami crane each!

People were really pleased when they did the final stage of the origami and they could see that they had made a bird.
Some feedback from the workshop included: “I think it is a great idea to use origami in order to spread the positive message” and that “It is great to have a space to explore and share what it is to be an immigrant.”

With thanks to Refugee Week, V&A, Counterpoints Arts, Blakemore Foundation for supporting the event.

On Sunday 23rd June Shelanu finished their celebrations of Refugee Week with a ‘Transferring Skills’ drop-in workshop as part of the Celebrating Sanctuary event at MAC Birmingham. The group worked with over 55 participants during the session and received really positive feedback.

“I cannot believe just how wonderful Shelanu is and how friendly and professional the staff and volunteers are. Myself, friends and our children thoroughly enjoyed participating in the workshop. We are regulars. More, more, more please!”

We’re looking forward to seeing what Shelanu will be up to for next year’s Refugee Week!

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