Join us to mark Norfolk Welcomes on Friday 14th June 2019 as schools across the county learn about the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers, and help build a culture of welcome in our communities.
Teachers up and down the country are finding that the global refugee crisis has sparked both questions and concerns among their pupils. Now in its 2nd year, Norfolk Welcomes is an initiative designed to help teachers engage children in productive conversations about this timely and complex topic, using the lens of local histories of sanctuary. Scheduled for Friday 14 June, this fun and engaging day will offer useful context in advance of Refugee Week (17-23 June) and will:
- build understanding of what it means to be seeking sanctuary
- engage with Norfolk’s rich history as a place of sanctuary
- support local refugee and asylum seeking communities
Last year, the inaugural Norfolk Welcomes saw 62 schools across the county take part. This year we hope to engage even more school communities as we build a culture of welcome in our communities.
If your school would like to mark the day, please do let us know so that we can fully support you in marking the day. Register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Our theme this year focuses on the history of the people know as The Strangers: a group who came to Norwich from the Spanish Netherlands as economic migrants and refugees in the 16th century. Citizen researchers coordinated by Anglia Ruskin University have dug deep into this rich vein of local history. Their work has helped a team of teachers to create lesson plans, assembly materials and supporting activities that will enable children and young people to consider the experiences of the Strangers and their enduring legacy, alongside contemporary stories relating to seeking sanctuary.
This year Norfolk Welcomes is on the Friday before Refugee Week and is designed to complement this national celebration of the contribution of refugees to our culture and society. The theme of Refugee Week 2019, ‘You, me and those who came before’, is an invitation to explore the lives of refugees – and those who have welcomed them – throughout the generations, and to discover the experiences of displacement that are found in our families, neighbourhoods and history.
People escaping war and persecution have been welcomed by communities in Norfolk for hundreds of years, and their stories and contributions are all around us. From the ‘Strangers’ of the 16th century and the Jewish refugees of the 1930s, to people fleeing Vietnam in the 1970s, the Congolese in the 1990s and the most recent arrivals from Syria, they are part of who we are as a community, a city and a county.