Category: Refugee services

Stop-motion video: red balloons and refugees

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What’s it like to arrive in a new country as a refugee? What difficulties would you face and how would you overcome them?

This Refugee Week, we’re encouraging people to look beyond the negative stereotypes and celebrate the positive contribution refugees have made to our history and heritage.

Using stop-motion techniques, Red Balloon traces the journey of a new arrival to the UK. It explores the hardships many refugees face and highlights the difference that a little kindness can make. More

‘Now I have a chance to make a career’

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After fleeing Liberia and struggling for years, Robert is finally building a new life in the UK. As we celebrate Refugee Week, here is his story.

I had to leave Liberia in 2005 because it wasn’t safe for me, and I sought asylum in the UK. At first my asylum claim was refused, and for a long time I had nothing and really struggled to get by.

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Interactive timeline: our long history of helping refugees

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For over a century, the British Red Cross has been helping protect and support people in the UK and abroad who have been forced to leave their country fearing persecution. Today, we provide a range of services for refugees and asylum seekers and advocate on their behalf.

Explore our interactive timeline to see pictures from some of the situations in which we’ve helped refugees over the past 116 years. More

‘It was like having a new family’

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Woman holding her child

Pregnant and vulnerable, Christiane really needed a friend when she fled Cameroon two years ago. As we celebrate Refugee Week, here is her story.

I was already five-months pregnant when I had to leave Cameroon suddenly, and it was a very difficult time – I hardly spoke a word of English.

A friend told me about the Red Cross refugee service, and they immediately helped with my language problems and all the things I needed. They gave me food vouchers, clothes for my baby – even a pushchair.

I think they took extra special care of me because I was pregnant – my main contact at the refugee centre was like a father to me. And when I was feeling low and missing home, they told me: ‘We are your family now.’

The Red Cross was also a good link with the authorities and the charity was a big help with my claim application.

I got leave to remain after seven months, and now I’m a volunteer befriender. My role is to welcome people to the refugee centre and, by sharing my own experience, make them feel more comfortable.