According to BBC three-thousand children arrived in the UK alone last year. Many of them are migrants or refugees escaping war or devastation in their home countries. They’ve travelled thousands of miles across deserts, mountains and seas. When they get to the UK they are often tired and afraid. They are taken by immigration officers or police to a safe place where they are asked lots of questions.
This is so that the people in charge can understand how old the child is, where they have come from and what they will need to keep them healthy and safe. If the child is under 17, they are given leave to remain, which means they can stay in the UK and will be looked after until they are old enough to look after themselves.
This often means they are placed with a foster family who look after them as though they are part of their family. They can start going to a local school and they can start to make a life for themselves here in the UK.
Many of the children stay around Kent and Dover in the south of England because that is where they first arrive. In the past year Kent has placed nearly 1,000 children in homes in that area.
Ruth is one of them. She came all over from Eritrea on her own. She now goes to college and has many friends. She wants to become a nurse.
Journeys Festival International celebrates the extraordinary creativity, culture and experiences that refugees bring to the UK. Managed by ArtReach and established in Leicester in 2013, the festival will be developing strands of work in Manchester this October, with a view to hosting full festivals in 2017 and beyond. Working across a wide range of creative media and disciplines, Journeys Festival International aims to bring the exceptional talent of local, national and international refugee artists into the public eye.
Strands of work that will be brought to Manchester in 2016 (and beyond) include:
·Look Up –a visual exhibition uniting the public realm with art in iconic cityscape locations. If you are an artist, there is scope to develop work for the 2017 exhibition or beyond.
· The Container Project – presenting installations, visual arts and pop-up performances based in and around a shipping container, symbolic of export and transference of place. There will be opportunities to display work, perform and engage with the activities going on in this space.
· Coffee Shop Conversations –an opportunity for the public to discuss and exchange views with refugees and refugee artists over the domestic ritual of coffee and cake. There will be opportunities to participate in these sessions as speakers and chair persons to lead the discussions.
· Manchester Museum – Journeys Festival International Take Over– on Saturday 8 October Manchester Museum will be taken over by a host of Journeys Festival International activity. There will be exhibitions, performance, activities and storytelling curated by Manchester Museum/Portsmouth University department of Psychological Sciences. There will also be a Coffee Shop Conversation, pop up theatre performances and interactive, digital kite flying.
The open day is your chance to find out more and make links with the festival organisers. Light refreshments will be provided.