“Refugee Action Kingston has been a beacon of hope for 25 years, standing by refugees in need, helping them to live safe and fulfilling lives in the UK”
These were words spoken by Maurice Wren CEO Refugee Council as he addressed the audience.
It was standing room only as over 220 people joined with us to celebrate everything refugees and asylum seekers have achieved, through an evening of performance, dance, exhibition, music and inspiring testimonials.
All Saints Church opened their doors and became a stage for Korean Musicians, Brazilian martial arts performers, Sri Lankan, Indian and Korean dancers – a true example of Kingston embracing and celebrating diversity.
The evening started with the youngest members of RAK and was followed by Axe-Capoeira Uk, Southborough High School, Benchmark Theatre and North Korean musicians. The Gli Amici Della Musica Wind Quintet provided a backdrop of classical music on arrival, and it finished with everyone joining in with Maria Soriana of Singing 4 Health.
Here is a selection of photos from the evening featuring the peformers
It was great to see so many friends, supporters and previous directors of RAK who have contributed so much to the organisation, welcome back to Francis, Kathryn, Rebecca and Nuwa.
Sanja Kane (RAK Director) spoke of the challenges facing the organisation and dedicated the biggest thanks to RAK clients for their resilience and determination to continue fighting for a better life they deserve. 3 RAK clients highlighted through testimonials how RAK had helped them integrate into the local community and into education and finally work.
Mr Wren closed his speech by saying "They had jobs, now they are jobless, they had homes,now they are homeless, All they have is hope, please dont take that away"
Thank you to everyone who made it such a wonderful evening and All Saints Kingston for welcoming us to share their beautiful Church.
We aim to be here for another 25years! supporting refugees and asylum seekers
Ana Santiago event manager
For quarter of a century, Refugee Action Kingston (RAK) has been supporting refugees and asylum seekers to become independent and build successful lives. We support 3,000 people in Kingston but we need your help to continue and grow our services.
Please join us at our Gala Fundraising Dinner on 11 November 2016 to celebrate our 25th anniversary and help us raise money so we can continue providing vital services for another 25 years.
In this anniversary year, RAK is experiencing significant financial challenges. Threatened with a drastic cut to the services we provide, we are appealing for the support of the community.
Thanks to RAK a disillusioned Iranian refugee teacher enrolled on a training course and is now teaching maths, in spite of being diagnosed with cancer, and a single mother from Sri Lanka – who is an amputee – and her young daughter were helped to find a home after being forced to sleep on friends’ sofas.
These are only brief snapshots of the many hundreds of cases Refugee Action Kingston deals with every year.
We want to continue to exist to help refugees and asylum seekers in Kingston in the way we have been doing over the last 25 years. In particular, we need funds to continue our employment service which is faced with closure. Without this service, we will no longer be able to offer specialist advice to help refugees find work to match their skills.
And, if funds allow, we have ambitions to start a much needed hosting project. Over 40 volunteers have offered to host refugees in their homes in Kingston but, without additional funding, we cannot start a project to realise this ambition.
Please help us by taking a table at our Gala Fundraising Dinner on 11 November 2016.
Download poster here
Pianist Jacqueline Cole is playing one piano recital in Kingston, remembering the liberation of Theresienstadt concentration camp that took place on Tuesday 8 May 1945.
When: 7.30pm | Sunday, 8 May 2016
Where: All Saints Church, Market Place, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 1JP
All proceeds will be donated to support the work we do at Refugee Action Kingston.
We look forward to seeing you there!
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