“Smiling is the best way to say welcome”: watch a new film by refugees

Question: What do Rachel Weisz, Omid Djalili and Rita Ora have in common?

Answer: They are all refugees.

Their families have all had to flee their homelands and make a new life in a new place.

This Refugee Week, a host of budding refugee-directors are following in their footsteps down the red carpet. They have been working with the arts organisation Cardboard Cameras to create this fantastic stop motion animation.

Check it out and enjoy!

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Dynamo brings a bit of magic to refugees in Liverpool

Dynamo in Liverpool

Don’t believe in magic?

Many of the refugees in our Liverpool drop-in centre could be forgiven for not believing.

They have fled their homes and fetched up halfway around the world.

Some of them, owing to bureaucratic delays and restrictions in the immigration system, are homeless and hungry.

Enter Dynamo, world-renowned magician and illusionist.

The magician made a surprise visit ahead of a gig in Liverpool. And he put on quite a show.

Take a look and see for yourself. More

In pictures: hot meals for the hungry in Iraq

Red Crescent volunteers distribute bread to woman and girl in Iraq

Trapped between warring armies and forced to flee their homes – this is reality for millions of people in Iraq.

More than three million Iraqis are already in this situation and fighting causes thousands more to leave their homes every week.

In the past few days, over 12,000 families had to leave the besieged city of Fallujah and the number is expected to increase.

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Syrian family reunited – “words can’t describe how happy I am”

Omar’s first birthday will live long in his family’s memory.

After four months of separation, they were reunited just in time to celebrate Omar’s birthday together.

Theirs is a story of the terrible strain on families affected by the Syrian war.

Families forced at short notice to make heart-wrenching choices.

Families waiting to be reunited

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From Syria to Germany – Leen’s story

You might remember Leen.

Last November we met her at her lowest point. At just 16 years old, she had fled her home in Damascus with her younger sister and mother.

Leen was exhausted and shaken from her journey but relieved to have reached temporary safety at a refugee camp on the border of Macedonia and Greece.

Months later, Leen got back in touch with us via Facebook to say she had finally arrived in Germany. We recently travelled to Berlin to find out how she is settling into her new life.

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Refugee Reporting Award: and the winner is..

Eritrea man walks past building

Many congratulations to Matina Stevis and Joe Parkinson who last night won the prestigious Refugee Reporting Award at the One World Media Awards.

Their project was one of three outstanding nominated pieces shining a light on one story among 60 million.

That’s because today, 60 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their homes because of violence and conflict. 

We caught up with the nominees and asked them about their work.

Take a look and let us know which story was your favourite. 

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Child safety, Afghan style

Three girls play as they pump water from a well

In the UK, keeping children safe means babyproofing your home or teaching youngsters to look both ways before crossing the road.

In Afghanistan, it could mean stopping children dying from diseases picked up from human waste.

More than just a nuisance

For most people in Britain, diarrhoea is a nuisance that can be easily treated. If a child is very badly affected, care is always available.

But in some countries, diarrhoea is life threatening.

Nearly 1.3 million children under five die from diarrhoea worldwide, making it the second most common cause of child deaths.

In fact, over half of these deaths occur in just five countries. Afghanistan is one of them.

What makes this even sadder is that children’s lives could be saved if communities had clean water, toilets and hand-washing facilities.

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