Refugee Week 2022

Refugee Week is a UK-wide event honoring the contributions, ingenuity, and tenacity of refugees and asylum seekers. Refugee Week, which began in 1998 and takes place every year around the world from June 20th, is a rising global movement. This year’s theme is “Healing”.

Refugee Week is an umbrella festival, and anyone can get involved by holding or joining an event or activity. Refugee Week events happen in all kinds of different spaces and range from arts festivals, exhibitions, film screenings and museum tours to football tournaments to public talks.

At Tops, we have a BIE Group, this group actively researches and creates new initiatives and ideas that the company can implement in order to support inclusivity. This year the BIE group is celebrating Refugee Week through the joys of reading a book. For thousands of years, perhaps almost as long as we’ve been able to speak, humans have been telling stories. Storytelling is a method of making sense of the world and disseminating information. They aid in our understanding of others as well as ourselves.

Here are a few books we think are worth a read:

Wishes: 

Author: Mượn Thị Văn

Illustrator: Victo Ngai

Publisher: Scholastic

Interest age: 4-5

Wishes is a really affecting story written with very little words about a child’s experience as a refugee, told in muted colour and with a beautiful concentration on the minor nuances of this Vietnamese family’s existence as they prepare for a risky voyage.

Ballerina Dreams:

Author: Michaela and Elaine DePrince Illustrator: Ella Okstad

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Interest age: 5-8

Reading age: 6-8

Children will be inspired to believe that they can be anyone they want to be after reading this heartwarming true story about working hard to accomplish your ambitions.

Lily and the Polar Bears:

Author: Jion Sheibani

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Interest age: 4-7

Reading age: 5+

In a delightful narrative about polar bears, this charming, amusing, and heartwarming picture book blends themes about arctic erosion, animal protection, and immigration. It will undoubtedly be a hit with children, who will like Sheibani’s illustrations.

My Name is not Refugee:

Author: Kate Milner
Publisher: The Bucket List
Interest age: 4-8
Reading age: 5+

When they arrive at a safe location, a young boy must remember that, while youngsters refer to him as Refugee, this is not his real name. This straightforward, sympathetic book, which presents the refugee problem in an understandable manner, is complemented by clear, emotive drawings.

These books capture the triumphs and the resilience of children who are refugees. They also convey the hardships that refugees face as they flee war and persecution. We encourage you to use these stories as a resource in informing yourself and your children about the challenges that refugees may face in their new lives.

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