Seeking Sanctuary in Swansea:
Stories and Meeting Points
DPIA managed the SWANSEA CITY OF SANCTUARY project, which aimed for people seeking asylum and refugees to find ways of telling and contextualising personal stories in order to provide background information on development issues in particular origin countries and explain the reasons people flee. The project was funded by DFID from 1st April 2010 to 31st March 2013.
The 3 year project included the following activities:
- Arranged and delivered educational refugee awareness sessions at organizations who supported Swansea City of Sanctuary, including Swansea educational institutions, key service providers, and community groups;
- With partnership organisations, delivered thematic workshops which allowed people seeking sanctuary to critique their experiences of accessing services and educated service providers about best practices, legal obligations and resolving barriers;
- Supported the development of the Swansea Refugee Awareness speakers team by recruiting new members; delivering developmental training and prepared speakers for individual events. In 2011, 14 volunteer speakers from 9 different countries of origin participated in refugee awareness events.
- Worked with partner organisations and community members to create an exhibit at Swansea Museum which educated the public in Swansea about why refugees fled their origin countries and what they experienced on arrival in the UK. The exhibition was part of Swansea Refugee Week;
- Organized speakers to address city-wide events with the goal to educate the public about life in countries from which refugees have fled and the realities of the UK asylum system. Women from Iraq and Sierra Leone delivered eloquent anti-war messages at Swansea Council Holocaust Memorial Day events;
- Created and updated educational leaflets, including a general fact pack and country of origin info sheets for Iraq, Zimbabwe, Iran, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea and Somalia.