Stories of Hope and Home is a story-telling project encouraging and empowering Asylum Seekers and Refugees to share their stories. The aim is to give these ‘experts by experience’ space to discover their own voice, allowing them to share their own narrative in their own words, and helping to realise that their stories, individually and collectively have worth and value.
By taking these stories: expressed through storytelling, poetry, theatre and other media; to others, particularly in educational settings, the stories become powerful points of encounter with other sectors of the community, helping to educate, to change perceptions and to build positive relationships.
Aims and objectives of the project
To be a vehicle for language learning. Starting from the assumption that the majority of participants will not speak English as their first language, giving people the vocabulary, language skills and confidence to express themselves is a core part of the project, although there is no intention for this to constitute formal language teaching.
To build self-esteem and self-confidence. Through discovering the value of their own story and finding their voice, helping people to realise that they have a story to tell and that their humanity, in all its complexity is valued. To provide opportunities for confidence building through participation in a range of activities.
To be a mutually supportive community. The workshops will bring together people from a diversity of cultures and backgrounds and a key aim will to be build relationships of trust and respect among the participants, encouraging them to support one another in the workshops and activities, in the outreach work which follows, and more widely within their lives and experiences.
To encourage creativity and self-expression. Whilst the intention is to work with and from true life stories, the aim is to help participants to explore and discover the ways in which they are and can be creative, to avoid a mentality of having right and wrong answers, and to overcome hesitation or reluctance to believe in their potential of creative expression.
Education and Outreach:
To educate young people about the reality of the lives of asylum seekers and refugees: both in relation to the issues they face / have faced directly in relation to being asylum seekers or refugees; but also to encompass a variety of stories which simply show their humanity. To help them also find creative ways to engage with the subjects and topics and make connections with their own lives.
To challenge negative imagery and stereotypes around migration, to counter ignorance and misinformation about these issues and to aim to change perceptions about the contribution of asylum seekers and refugees to our communities.
To provide space to ask questions and to engage in dialogue and encounter, in the knowledge that meeting one another face-to-face is the best or only way to build cohesive, compassionate communities.
To enable ‘experts by experience’ to add their voices to campaigns aiming to bring about positive change in the lives and experiences of asylum seekers and refugees.