A Valentine evening with ‘refugees’
Whilst most people celebrated a romantic Valentines Day with their partners, around a hundred people gathered at the event ‘Refugee Valentine’ in the evening of this February 14th in Brighton, organised by Sussex Refugee and Migrant Self Support Group, a group of led by migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, to celebrate love and embrace diversity.
Walking into the independent, artist-led bar Rose Hall, I could immediately sense the rich cultural dynamics and warm hospitality. A rainbow-background stage with a big sign ‘Love Refugees’, colorful balloons brightening up the space, and several paintings, done by a local migrant artist, displayed along the wall. Large bowls of home cooked vegan soup and curry were being served and shared among everyone in the spirit of community. People are from various backgrounds and skin colours, with a wide range of ages and sexualities, together celebrating their differences.
Today in the Jollof Cafe two households of newly arrived asylum seekers came looking for housing. All told there were 6 adults (4 women, 2 men), 3 children and 1 unborn baby. They all have strong connections to Brighton and no chance of getting Asylum Seeker Service housing anywhere near hear. Their eligibility for ASS housing precludes them from housing from the council, even if the council had any housing. It's one of the big reasons we set up T4K. Unfortunately we are currently spending all of our monthly income (and a little more) supporting our existing residents and others in need. We don't have a spare £3000/month. Here's how you can help...Read more
Do you have an old laptop gathering dust? A young asylum seeking man is in need of a computer that he can take with him as he moves around. He wants to prepare his case on it, to learn presentation and design skills, and to practice his English. He also rather likes film and football. Can he have that old laptop? If so you can get in touch through the contact page or facebook. Thank You.
The autumn has arrived, so happy New Year to all Jews, Muslims and Copts. I know that Keats liked the autumn, but I prefer the summer. I prefer it so much that I failed to produce a newsletter in either July or August. I am sorry about that. Just because yours truly was slacking, it does not imply that everybody else was not working very hard (too many negatives?). The big headline news is that we are now just shy of £2500 a month. One thing which we need to do in the New Year is work out how to take a fundraising to the next level because the need is only going to grow.
Even more exciting than the financial data is the belated arrival of the other half of one of the families you have been supporting. The male and the female half of the family are now back together. It’s been a real struggle (although again, one that yours truly has skived off), but finally everybody can start to move on with their lives. It’s not quite over yet. The Home Office have to be persuaded that grandma is an integral part of the family. It is still a major victory. We will put all the details into another newsletter. But thank you all of you who have made it possible.
The sun is out. People are dressed up in white and propelling hard spheres of red leather at each other’s heads and legs. Children are parading through the streets. Artists are balancing rocks in impossible combinations. Summer must have arrived and with it the Brighton Festival. If that’s not enough to make you happy, we have extraordinary good news (I’m not referring to the resignation of the Home Secretary because she was too harsh on migrants).Read more
Springtime is well and truly here. The snow has melted and the daffodils are poking their bright trumpets upwards to be refreshed by the spring rain that never ends. Things are very busy here at T4K, despite the weather. It is extremely exciting. A whole bunch of new volunteers responded to our call out last month. The team is bigger, better, bolder and many other things beginning with a B (bristling with brio?). It will be invaluable as we mature and grow.Read more
A new and creative way to commemorate St Valentine, at the beautiful Rose Hill, home of art and music, in Rose Hill Terrace. This event was arranged by members of the Jollof Cafe Brigade and the Sussex Refugee and Migrant Self-Support Group, and was a celebration of community, with food, music, and lots more people than expected, or than it seemed feasible to fit into the space.Read more
I hope that you all managed to have a peaceful and enjoyable time over Christmas and the New Year, so that you are able to face 2018 with joy and enthusiasm. T4K, thanks to your amazing support, is in a good place. It is also in a place of transition. There is about £1800 a month coming into the account. That comes from about 380 donors. There are also over 500 supporters of the project.Read more
I hope that you all had a lovely time this Christmas, whichever way you choose to spend it. Personally, I saw my parents on Christmas Eve and spent Christmas Day eating and watching films with some Muslim friends from various parts of West Africa. It was a cross continental, Jewish-Muslim Christmas. Much more excitingly, the family that you have all been so generous in supporting finally moved into their own flat on the 23rd. It was in the nick of time because they spent a large portion of their Christmas Day in hospital… On the Maternity Ward! A child was born on Christmas Day.Read more