West Coventry Woodcraft start Refugee Action Project

West Coventry Venturers and DFs have started a new action project, building links with the local refugee community and the Coventry Peace House, which supports refugees and asylum seekers locally.

The project aims to raise awareness of the issues faced by refugees/asylum seekers in the local community through the use of film. 

The idea was inspired by the current DF campaign Right to Refuge, which is an issue we have touched on in group nights but have not explored in depth. The project enabled us to broaden our knowledge on the subject by finding out about the refugees and asylum seekers in our local area.

The project started with a visit from Penny Walker from the Coventry Peace House, a community of people living co-operatively who work for peace and the environment. She explained the main issues surrounding the subject, showing us through a simulation game the difficulties that asylum seekers face when they come to Britain.

We maintained the link by cooking a meal for the Night Shelter part of the Peace House, where we also got the opportunity to talk to some refugees and asylum seekers. The stories they told were enlightening.

We have filmed our progress throughout the project with the aim of creating a finished film to show to people at CoCamp and also to local schools in our community.

We have already run activities with our Elfin/Pioneer groups based on the knowledge that we accumulated whilst doing the project. As well as helping them to understand the issues around the topic, this made sure we really understood what we were telling them! 

The funding we received was from the TREE project, which is a establishment that enables Woodcraft groups to do action projects like this. 

Doing the project has been very interesting and lots of fun - the possibilities for what to do next are endless, but we hope to finish the film in time for the summer.