Women for Refugee Women Latest News Refugee Women Visit the National Portrait Gallery with Caroline Walker

Refugee women visit the National Portrait Gallery with artist Caroline Walker

Six refugee women joined us to visit the Njideka Akunyili Crosby exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby is a Nigerian artist who migrated to the USA. The themes of culture and identity that she explores in her work resonated with the refugee women in our network, some of whom felt inspired to start creating their own art.

We are grateful to the artist Caroline Walker for organising this trip and introducing Crosby's artwork to the women in our network. Trips like this are an important part of making refugee women feel welcome and introducing them to free spaces that they can access within London.

Women for Refugee Women Chinese Women Trafficked to UK failed by Home Office

Trafficked Chinese women locked up in Yarl's Wood

This Autumn, we have been supporting a number of highly vulnerable Chinese women who have been trafficked to the UK and locked up indefinitely in Yarl’s Wood detention centre.

This week, we worked with the Guardian on an article exposing their plight and the failures of the Home Office.

Our director Natasha Walter says,

“These women are extremely vulnerable and many have survived terrible violence and are still in fear of their traffickers. The Home Office is clearly failing to follow its own policies regarding victims of trafficking and gender-based violence by locking up these women for long periods and trying to deport them, without proper mental or physical healthcare or decent legal advice.”

Women for Refugee Women Christmas Party for 200 refugee women in our network

Christmas party for 200 refugee women in our network

Today we held a Christmas party for almost 200 women in our network! It was a day of celebration and joy, with performances from women who had developed their skills with us this year.

Thank you to everyone who so generously donated beauty products and coats this year. Because of you, every woman who attended left with a treat to help her feel valued.

Women for Refugee Women News Latest News Visiting the Museum of London

Visiting the Museum of London

Our wonderful Intermediate English teachers Helen and Irene organised a trip for 8 refugee and asylum-seeking women to the Museum of London.

The women enjoyed learning about the history of London, including watching videos of the Suffragettes.

Women for Refugee Women News Latest News Time To Close Yarl's Wood

After 17 years, it’s time to close Yarl’s Wood

Today, Yarl's Wood detention centre has been open for 17 years. During that time thousands of women, who came to the UK looking for safety, have been locked up indefinitely causing them immeasurable trauma and pain. It’s time to shut down Yarl’s Wood and #SetHerFree (link to campaign page).

Our director Natasha Walter spoke alongside brave ‘Robbina’ who was previously locked up in Yarl’s Wood, causing her deep trauma, for a news feature by BBC Look East. ‘Priscilla’, who was detained for 6.5 months in 2017, spoke out about her experience to Helen Lewis for New Statesman. She said,

"It was getting to a point where I thought: I just want to kill myself. There was no point."

Women for Refugee Women News Latest News New Computer Course for Refugee Women

New computer course for refugee women

In partnership with Birkbeck University, we have launched a computer course for refugee women.

Computer skills are essential for women to rebuild their lives in the UK. The course covers basic skills like conducting an internet search, using emails, creating a document on Microsoft Word and using social media. Many of these skills are essential for women to be able to find the support that they need or begin to look for work.

We are grateful to Birkbeck University for providing the use of one of their computer rooms which makes this course possible! And to our wonderful volunteers, Martha and Kiran, for teaching this essential course.

Women for Refugee Women News Latest News Her Stories Fundraising for Refugee Women

Her Stories – fundraising for refugee women

Her Stories is a creative appeal for the most marginalised women in the UK. This year Her Stories put on an auction of women’s art to raise much-need funds for us and two other charities supporting refugee and trafficked women: Maternity Action and Ella’s Home. The auction included a painting by Caroline Walker of Joy, one of the refugee women in our network. Read Joy’s story here.

Through the auction and other events, Her Stories raised over £20,000 for each of the charities they supported this year. Their efforts will make a considerable difference to our work with refugee and asylum-seeking women.

Women for Refugee Women News Latest News Drama Exchange Across Borders

Drama exchange across borders

Our drama group is currently working on a collaborative project with Seenaryo and Women Now for Development, who support a group of Syrian refugee women based in Lebanon. This powerful project highlights women’s different experiences of crossing borders to seek safety. The refugee women are developing shared performance poetry and movement using a video link.