The sun was shining at Govanhill Community Gardens on Thursday for We Grow Stronger Together, hosted by Milk Cafe. We had a lovely afternoon making new friends. There was delicious food, freshly-picked mint tea, pot painting, vegetable planting and excellent conversation.
It’s a chance for people to learn more about Community Sponsorship, a scheme that offers a safe and legal route for refugees to resettle in the UK. As the name suggests, Sponsorship is a community effort that brings together local communities and transforms not only the lives of the resettled families but also the communities that bring them here. For those who are keen to save lives and strengthen their communities in the process, this event is for you.
What does Refugee Festival Scotland mean to you?
It is a celebration of what we cherish the most; a welcoming and open-hearted UK. For our organisation, it’s an opportunity to engage with local communities across Scotland to make the country and even more diverse and welcoming place.
Why is it important to celebrate refugee arts and culture in this way?
Many people associate the word “refugee” with a type of person, rather than a status. It’s so important to show that refugees are ordinary – but incredibly resilient – human beings, just like everyone else. Arts and culture are a great platform for exchanging ideas, ways of life and values, which is a crucial step in deepening understanding of our shared humanity.
What are you most looking forward to about the festival?
We truly hope to see a big turnout at our event and hopefully generate some real awareness and interest in community sponsorship. We’re also looking forward to meeting people from other organisations run by and for refugee communities, so that we can join forces in our efforts to make Scotland a place of sanctuary and welcome.