Reading Refugee Support Group celebrate 25 years of their work in the town with an afternoon of poetry, music and personal journeys, in conversation with BBC Radio 3 presenter Fiona Talkington. We are very lucky to be joined by Refugees who have all worked with Reading Refugee Support Group. They will be sharing their stories and an artefact from their country.
Opening the event is At The Border, a short theatre piece reflects influences from the Iranian writer and poet Choman Hardi, French graphic novel Alpha by Bessoux and Bessora, and the words of Lemn Sissay and Benjamin Zephania.
Entry for both is by suggested £5 donation to Reading Refugee Support Group. Please bring your donation on the night where there will be charity buckets available. To help us manage capacity, please book your ticket in advance.
We will be joined by:
Faraj has worked in the National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights of Libya as the founder and manager and was the Deputy executive director of the National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights of Libya. Faraj has been a collaborator with international human rights and rule of law institutions including: American Bar Association, No Peace Without Justice Organization, UNDP Human rights, Danish Institute for Human Rights. Faraj and his family escaped from Libya and saught asylum in the UK. Faraj is a Trustee at Reading Refugee Support Group.
I am an asylum seeker in the UK. I was born in 1996 in Urmia, Iran. After living for 22 years in Urmia, I had to leave my family, my friends and my country without knowing the destination, because I changed my religion and Iranian government found out about this.
Knowing the fact that I cannot go back to my family and my friends makes me very sad, but I am trying to be positive and do not let this fact to destroy my life and hold me back from reaching my dreams.
As an asylum seeker I am very lucky that I found RRSG community. I believe that they are one the best charities for Refugees in the UK and I am proud to know a few people from this organization.
Ms Yamikani Ndovi is a refugee from Zimbabwe who came to England in 2003. She now lives with her partner and two children.
Ms Ndovi lived in Zimbabwe where she was a qualified electrical engineer for the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority. Yamikani had to flee Zimbabwe after being assaulted and tortured. She underwent plastic surgery to help her recover since arriving in the UK and has received therapy to help with issues caused by events. Yamikani now publically talks about these experiences to raise the issues facing refuges to help others and particularly offers help to support children in families where parents may have been tortured.
Hussam is from Syria and a surgeon by training. After the civil war started and fighting and the looting broke out in Syria, Hussam stayed and continued to work as a surgeon, dealing with the many victims and casualties of the war. Often operating from makeshift theatres whilst booming continued around him, Hussam stayed for a year until he had to flee. His family had fled ahead of him. His journey took him one and a half years to get to the UK using every form of transport associated with being an asylum seekers, much of which was provided by traffickers. Hussam had a relatively easy journey to claim asylum, but faces barriers returning to his profession in the UK. Hussam is a support officer for Reading Refugee Support Group.
- Price: £5 on the door donation to Reading Refugee Support Group (RRSG)
- Tagline: Fiona Talkington leads this celebration of 25 years' of Reading Refugee Support Group's work, with poetry, music and personal journeys.