Refugee Week with Graffeg

Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. Founded in 1998 and held every year around World Refugee Day on the 20 June, Refugee Week is also a growing global movement.

Through a programme of arts, cultural, sports and educational events alongside media and creative campaigns, Refugee Week enables people from different backgrounds to connect beyond labels, as well as encouraging understanding of why people are displaced, and the challenges they face when seeking safety. Refugee Week is a platform for people who have sought safety in the UK to share their experiences, perspectives and creative work on their own terms.

Refugee Week’s vision is for refugees and asylum seekers to be able to live safely within inclusive and resilient communities, where they can continue to make a valuable contribution. This is something we feel strongly about here at Graffeg, so we thought we'd share a few books that we think can open conversations with young readers about refugees, asylum seekers and acceptance. 

Molly and the Shipwreck written by Malachy Doyle and illustrated by Andrew Whitson

Molly and her dad rescue three people in trouble from a small boat off the coast. Though they speak different languages, the new arrivals quickly make friends with the islanders, who offer them somewhere to stay and some clothes and food. Just a few weeks later, a new challenge threatens this relationship, but will Molly and the islanders be able to help their new friends?

'With the clarity of vision and an understanding that all too frequently only comes from children, this book sings with compassion, honesty and heart. The clear, eloquent story and warm, expressive illustrations talk about a problem we sometimes push to the side in our minds, even though it happens everyday.' - Mary Esther Judy, Fallen Star Stories

The New Girl written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Cathy Fisher

A child starts a new school in a strange new town. The children in her class are hostile towards her and unhappy about the stranger in their midst, refusing to include her. The girl’s response is to create something beautiful that transforms their attitude towards her and their vision of themselves and their own lives in this inspiring story.

'In a spare, poetic text, Nicola Davies shows how easy it is to label someone as ‘different’ and how easy it is to treat them badly once that has been done. But she also shows how a new child can turn that hostility round by introducing the special things from her own life. Cathy Fisher’s illustrations capture the powerful but understated point of the story perfectly making this apparently quiet book speak volumes.' Julia Eccleshare, LoveReading4Kids

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