Refugee Week: Turning compassion into action

English lessons at Baytree

Every June we celebrate Refugee Week, dedicated to recognising the achievements, contributions, and culture of refugees. 

The celebration includes media campaigns, educational events, and, importantly, collaboration between groups and cultures. The theme of this year’s event is compassion. To highlight how individuals can make a difference in the lives of refugees, WONDER has focused on what everyday people can do to show compassion to those who have already been through so much.

Why is Refugee Week important?

The combination of ongoing international conflicts in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, and many other nations, as well as the rapid unfolding of the global climate crisis displaced over 100 million refugees in 2022. At the same time, however, the United Kingdom has passed increasingly strict policies aimed at deterring refugees from seeking asylum in the UK. To combat the number of refugees arriving in small boats to the UK, Parliament introduced the Illegal Migration Bill. This Bill will change the law to unequivocally assert that illegal migrants to the UK cannot be allowed to stay in the country. Further, women are at a far greater risk of sexual and gender-based violence, exploitation, and human trafficking throughout their migration and once at their destination.

At times like these, with a growing number of refugees displaced due to violence and climate catastrophe, the scope of the refugee issue can feel overwhelming. For that reason, WONDER is here to offer tangible suggestions for ways to make a difference and put compassion into action.

How can you support refugees?

  1. Explore Refugee Week’s new initiative, Simple Acts. 

This new initiative lists small ways for individuals to start to connect with refugees and educate themselves on the refugee crisis and how to help. Talking and listening to refugees can often be the simplest form of compassion.

  1. Educate yourself.

Watch a film or read a book by a refugee to educate yourself and others on the hardships endured by refugees. Knowledge is power when it comes to compassion. Taking the time to watch a film or read a book by a refugee not only supports their art and business, but also gives one insight on the perspectives of migrants. Hearing about their story first-hand and amplifying their platform builds compassion. Further, educate yourself on how to access refugee resources and connect refugees in search of support.

  1. Volunteer with a local organisation supporting refugees, or make a donation. 

There are so many organisations working to resettle, educate, and integrate refugees into their new communities in the UK. Some of WONDER’s partners aim to do just that. The Baytree Centre provides women and girls with educational tools for financial management, English lessons, and mentoring groups. Pontes, our partner in Poland, offers shelter, Polish language classes, and job support to Ukrainian women refugees. WONDER’s partners in Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria work on the ForSUD project to educate women on safe migration and identifying human trafficking.

Author: Sarah Finkel

Corporate volunteering in London Team building

Corporate Volunteering at WONDER Foundation

WONDER Foundation hosts a variety of corporate volunteering days throughout the year, partnering with organisations and businesses that support our mission and goals.