'From film festivals to football tournaments, comedy nights to carnivals, exhibitions, workshops, parties and much, much more, Refugee Week Scotland (15-21 June 2009) is an exciting programme of events happening across the country to celebrate diversity and raise awareness of refugee issues. This year the theme of Refugee Week is HOME. For many refugees and asylum seekers, a new home in Scotland means safety from persecution and a life without fear. But what does home mean to you?
For me a large part of what home means to me relates to the natural environment. When I was a child, our garden was as important a part of what home meant as was our house. Now I've moved to a different city, the landscape and wildlife in and around Edinburgh mean home to me. When I lived in Malawi for a couple of years, the birds and the lake were as much a vital part of being there as were the students I taught, the friends I made and the colleagues I worked with. When I returned to the UK, I was returning home to the greenery and the familiar birds as much as to friends and family.'
- Refugee Week in Swansea, Wales, UK (including a number of literary events). In Wales we are focusing on the question, 'what does sanctuary mean to you?'
- Swansea: City of Sanctuary 2009
The words below come from an unfinished poem which I began many years ago:
... she pined for distant parents
and the warmth of happy families:
no one seemed to own her,
though her friends were very kind.
They would bring her tapes of music,
sit and listen to her feelings,
simply help her to unwind ...