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It’s Refugee Week 2010 (14-20 June)
Wednesday 9th June, 2010

Refugee Week is a unique opportunity to discover and celebrate the contributions refugees bring to the UK. Events are taking place across the country and there’s plenty to do in Wigan as well.

“Wigan Borough is a welcoming and friendly place,” says Cllr Kevin Anderson, the council’s champion for equality. “Refugees from oppression and fear abroad have joined our community and helped add to the rich variety of life in our area. This week is all about celebrating this and dispelling a few myths along the way.”

It’s a UK wide programme, and events continue for a full week, with the culmination being World Refugee Day on 20 June.

As well as festivals and presentations in London and across the country, there’s a play called “Ruth” performed by the No Nonsense Theatre Company in Manchester from 17-19 June 16-19 June at Manchester Cathedral, Victoria Street, Manchester, M3 1SX.

And there’s a lot happening in Wigan too, including:
  • 14th June 12.30pm-1.30pm, A chance to watch ‘Truth, Lies and Asylum seekers’ at Wigan town hall (contact Debra.Shufflebottom@wigan.gov.uk to book).

  • 14th June 8-9pm Mini football tournament at LSV 8-9, the more the merrier but make sure you book with Debra.Shufflebottom@wigan.gov.uk

  • 15th June 1.30pm – 3pm Play session, learning about other cultures through play in Mesnes Park

  • 16th June 6.30pm -8.30pm Dragon Boating and Archery – lessons and competition for all at Scotman’s Flash, Wigan

  • 17th June 6.30pm – 7.30pm Rafiki Motswako Drummers at the Museum of Wigan Life on Library Street (the old history shop) – samba drumming and a display of artwork, there will be an opportunity for people to have a go

  • During the week, Wigan town hall’s Bistro will be offering themed meals including Nigerian Kebabs (Halal) on Monday 14th June and a Machbous with Mastikai (lamb curry) on Friday 18th June. As usual, the Bistro is open to the public at lunchtimes.

  • Also all week, an exhibition at the Museum of Wigan Life on Guernsey Refugees to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Guernsey refugees coming to the borough.

This year is the second year of the Refugee Week “Simple Acts” campaign, which aims to bring refugees and British-born people together through small activities. Already nearly 8000 acts have been completed, and by World Refugee Day on 20 June, the aim is to have 20,000 Simple Acts completed by the people of Britain.

These acts include cooking a dish from another country, learning more about refugees from a film, book or by actively meeting members of the community, or attending one of the many events around the borough or around the country.

Almir Koldzic, national co-ordinator of Refugee Week says: “Britain has a proud tradition of sheltering people who are fleeing persecution and war, and as we honour this during Refugee Week, we can help change the perception of refugees by each carrying out a simple, everyday act. It’s as easy as having a kick about, learning a song, or sharing a recipe with a refugee.

“This summer, as everyone gears up for the World Cup, let’s do Britain proud in another important way, and complete 20,000 Simple Acts to show that the contribution of refugees in the UK is both valued and celebrated.”

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