Refugee Week 2020

Refugee Week is a national event celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees.

Through a programme of arts, cultural and educational events alongside media and creative campaigns, Refugee Week brings about positive encounters between communities, helping them to connect and learn from each other, and promoting a culture of welcome.

Coventry Welcomes is Coventry’s annual Refugee Week festival involving various community organisations delivering activities and events for and with those seeking sanctuary and to raise awareness of the asylum and refugee process.

This year, in parallel with the rest of the country, Coventry Welcomes will run from the 15th – 20th June with a programme of online activity – a first for the festival!

Below you can explore what digital events are being held by organisations in Coventry and how to get involved. We look forward to ‘seeing’ you there!

Belgrade Theatre

Made in India screening 

Time: Access from Tuesday 16th – Saturday 20th June 


In a surrogacy clinic in Gujarat, three women meet. It’s Londoner Eva’s last chance for motherhood. For village girl Aditi, surrogacy is a lifeline out of poverty. For clinic owner and businesswoman Dr Gupta, it’s all just another transaction. But with the backdrop of profound global forces, can it possibly remain that simple? Made in India was written by Satinder Chohan and produced by the Belgrade Theatre and Tamasha in association with Pilot Theatre in 2017. The production is directed by Katie Posner with Corey Campbell – now Co-Artistic Director of the Belgrade Theatre for 2021 – as assistant director. 

Belgrade Theatre #CityWarmUps with Rosemary Cisneros 

Time: Monday 15th June 8:30 am 


Get yourself energised, focused and ready to face the week ahead with the latest video in the Belgrade’s #CityWarmUps series. Every Monday at 8.30am, artists and creative practitioners from across Coventry and Warwickshire will take you step-by-step through the warm-ups they use to start their own workshops and rehearsals, so you can follow along at home. To mark Coventry Welcomes week, this week’s warm-up will be delivered by Rosa Cisneros, a researcher at Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research, and a member of the Roma Project – an initiative founded to tackle the exploitation of the Roma community and to advance their social inclusion in Coventry. 

 Belgrade Theatre Storytime with Rosemary Cisnernos 

Time:  Tuesday 16th June 14.30  


 Settle in for another children’s Storytime video from the Belgrade Theatre. This week’s story will be read by Rosa Cisneros, a researcher at Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research, and a member of the Roma Project – an initiative founded to tackle the exploitation of the Roma community and to advance their social inclusion in Coventry.  

Translated: Imagine presented by Belgrade Theatre and Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre & AMIF fund.

 Time: Friday 19th June 13.00 pm 

Platform:  facebook, youtube *zoom link will go out to an invited audience 


Following the success of “Translated”, a pilot project between the Belgrade Theatre and Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre, supported with funding from The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), which explored the experiences of migrant and refugee women though visual art and drama, “Translated: Imagine” sees the participants become co-devisers. Through a series of workshops co-led by Lucia Valle (visual art) from the Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre (again supported with funding from AMIF), Krysztina Winkel and Kim Hackleman (drama) from the Belgrade Theatre and participant co-devisers from the pilot project, a digital storybook will be co-devised based on the provocation of the theme of Refugee Week. On Friday the 19th June 2020 the digital storybook will be shared in a closed Zoom session to an invited audience with a discussion afterwards with the co-devisers. The digital storybook will be publicly shared via the Belgrade Theatre’s YouTube channels and Facebook page. 

Imagine Kindness – Poem Project 

ደግነትን ያስቡ/Imagine Kindness by Biruk Kebede 

Project coordination by Dr Seyedeh Naseriniaki, Coventry City Council’s Migration Team and the Belgrade Theatre 

Time: Daily at 12.30pm

Links:  & 

 Words have the ability to move us, to paint visuals for us, to help us express our emotions and to bring us closer to one another. Our words are our own, but when shared can bring about mutual understanding. Written specifically for Coventry Welcomes 2020, ደግነትን ያስቡ/Imagine Kindness is a Amharic poem by the Ethiopian poet Biruk Kebede. Imagine Kindness – Poem Project is a multi-lingual collaboration between Dr Seyedeh Naseriniaki, Coventry City Council‘s Migration Team and the Belgrade Theatre, using ‘kindness‘ as a starting point for connecting people and voices across nations, the essence of the poem will be shared in a different language each day. 

Stand Up and Be Counted Theatre

Performance Talk  

Time: Wednesday 17th June 19.00-20.00  – sign up through Eventbrite

Link:  to follow

A performance talk from SBC Theatre, the UK’s first Theatre Company of Sanctuary.  
Stand and Be Counted Theatre Company invite you to our performance talk. This is a space designed to share practice and open discussion about how performance work can do more to engage and support those seeking sanctuary, locally and nationally. With live and digital extracts of their previous educational and performance work, including ‘TANJA’ and ‘Where We Began,’ we will talk about our responsibilities as a Theatre Company of Sanctuary. d performance work, including ‘TANJA’ and ‘Where We Began,’ we will talk about our responsibilities as a Theatre Company of Sanctuary. 

Where We Began and Webcast Q&A  

Time: Thursday 18th June 20.00-21.30pm 

Link:  and Coventry Welcomes Social Media Channels

When every citizen is ordered to return to their place of birth, ‘Where We Began’ examines where we could end up. The UK’s first Theatre Company of Sanctuary, Stand and Be Counted present a wild and vivid vision of the future, combining storytelling, movement and live music. Five performers from across the globe challenge existing notions of ‘home’ in this multilingual celebration of personal identity. Commissioned by Camden People’s Theatre, Cast and Theatre in the Mill and supported by Arts Council England. Where We Began is a winner of the Bridging the Gap scheme led by Arc Stockton and toured nationally in 2018. There will be a live Q&A with the creative team after the performance. 

 Creative Skills for Work and wellbeing  

Time: Friday 19th June 14.00 

SBC Theatre present an online workshop to ignite your creativity. A company who specialise in facilitation for sanctuary seekers, the workshop will be a tutorial where you can start, pause and stop at your leisure – enabling you to learn and create at your own pace. Translated in Arabic 

 Songs of Sanctuary Film 

Time: Friday 19th June 17.00 

Link:  and Coventry Welcomes Social Media Channels

SBC Theatre presents Sanctuary Songs, in collaboration with Emily Ntshangase-Wood and Zoe Katsilerou. Join SBC performers from ‘Where We Began’ and ‘Tanja’ for songs of welcome and celebration from around the globe. Expect rousing vocals and live music as we reach beyond borders and out of lockdown. 

CARAG – Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group

Carag Presents Still We Rise Podcast “Imagine living on £5.39 per day”.  

Time: Wednesday 17th  (Part 1)  and Thursday 18th June (Part 2)  both at 14.00 


 CARAG is a Grassroots Community Organisation that is unique. Unique because it is wholly Migrant Led. We believe that peoples lived experience enables them to provide the clearest insight. As such, this year CARAG will take you into the daily lives of our members living on the British Governments £5.39 a day Handout. Can you Imagine it? Well, we have the unadulterated lived experiences of our members pain and suffering. Our podcast will through story telling, reveal the dehumanising and injustice of it all. It will be emotional and jarring. We hope it will make a difference and bring about the change and justice that’s badly needed. #ImagineLivingOn£5.39aDay #caragpodcast  


Maokwo and Slanguages presents Imagine My Reality live event.

Time: Saturday 20th June 14.00-16.00 


 We are living in uncertain times, corona virus came and put majority of countries on their knees. Corona virus did not apply for a visa, it does not own a passport however it came through boarders. Initially it looked like the virus has brought humanity to the most needed realization, the realization that we are all human with red blood running through our veins. We had a common enemy, the ‘ virus’ and we are fighting it together in unity. Two weeks into lock down, cracks of divides in class, ethnicity, status, privileges come and screamed in our face. The scream was…. Social distancing was a luxury some of our fellow humans could not afford, fighting for tissues was a yearning some had, but they could not afford, staying at home was wishful thinking for some. Why??? Because they are asylum seekers, migrants financially struggling due to social divides, migrants with no recourse to public funds and humans who are in limbo and considered stateless. Join us for a live discussion , sign up through Eventbrite.

Positive Youth Foundation

 Open Mic  

Time: Saturday 20th June 17.00-19.00 


 Showcasing the musical talents from a select group of young people we have been working with from migrant background communities. 

Warwick  STAR

Panel Event

Time: Monday 15th June 18.00-19.00 


Join us for a stimulating panel event this Refugee Week, where we will be discussing the problems which refugees and asylum seekers face, the worsened problems due to the coronavirus pandemic, and what we can do on a local, regional and international scale to help create a better world. In collaboration with Coventry Welcomes, and with speakers from Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre, as well as the UNHCR and refugee rights campaigner Gulwali Passarlay, we will be celebrating the efforts made in our local area, as well ways in which we can continue to make the world a more welcoming, inclusive and safe place for refugees and asylum seekers. To ensure access to this panel discussion, where there will surely be great ideas and solutions discussed, please book a free ticket through Eventbrite, where you will then receive the details to access the Zoom event.  

Chrysalis Craft Coventry CIC

Stay Safe Creative Connections

Time: Tuesday 16th and Thursday 18th – 16.00-17.00 

Link: Coventry Welcomes Facebook page

Chrysalis Craft Coventry CIC   aims to work with adult women of all ages from diverse backgrounds, with a particular focus on migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to learn, make and share through crafting projects.  During Coventry Welcomes, Dr. Seyedeh . F. Naseriniaki with run crafting workshops enabling the viewer to learn how to make homemade facemasks and upcycling skills with everyday items from around the home.

Please be aware these facemask workshops are not a replacement for medical grade Personal Protective Equipment, and in circumstances where medical grade Personal Protective Equipment is recommended, you should consult a health care professional. The decision to follow this tutorial and wear a homemade facemask is solely your own.

Positive Images Festival

The Ultimate Quiz Competition 

Time: All week

Link: need link

Positive Images Festival is a community-led festival, which celebrates diversity and showcases local talent. We also incorporate national campaigns, such as Refugee Week. Coventry Welcomes  signifies the welcoming nature of our city and the acknowledgement of the valuable contribution made by new communities.If you live in Coventry, Positive Images Festival invites you to enter our competition , which we have linked to this year’s national Refugee Week theme “Imagine”. If you live elsewhere, you are still welcome to submit an entry just for the fun of it, and we will send you the correct answers at the end of Refugee Week. The correct answers will also appear here after entries close on Saturday 20th June. In the event of multiple correct entries, the winner will be decided by lucky draw. 

Positive Images Festival Poetry Workshop   

Time: Saturday 20th June 13.00-14.00 


Just as people travel, stories travel too. With a significant increase in the availability of translated poems, the internet and the very human desire to gain an insight into the lives of those whose traditions, cultures and countries of origin differ from our own, it is no wonder that a single poem can now travel for thousands of miles. 
This informal and interactive session will introduce you to poets and poems you may not previously have come across, encouraging you to explore new voices and stories. You will also be given the opportunity to have a go at writing a couple of poems of your own. 
This session is suitable for anyone who enjoys a bit of creative writing or who would like to have a go at something new. You certainly don’t need to have enjoyed English lessons as school to be part of this, all you need is your imagination. 
If you or someone you know would benefit from receiving a written copy of the workshop activities then please email  

 Coventry Welcomes & Positive Images Festival Alive Artists Showcase in association with City of Culture 2021  

 Time:  Saturday 20th June 19.00-20.00

Platform: Facebook Live 


Positive Images Festival and Coventry Welcomes Festival with the funding support of the City of Culture 2021 have teamed up to provide vital funding support to Coventry Artists affected by the Covid 19 epidemic.    The funding will provide support for artists to produce on-line sessions using social media their specialist areas. Join us  for an hour to end the Coventry Welcomes Festival showcasing some of the artists who were successful in their application.

The People’s Backpack Podcast

Podcast 6 – Climate “refugees”? 

Time: Wednesday 17th June 12pm 

Link : Across Coventry Welcomes Social Media Channels &

The Peoples Backpack podcast team have looked back across the series this year and chosen one of their favourite podcasts to showcase for Coventry Welcomes this year. The podcast will discuss climate ‘refugees’ with Gwendolyn Tan. Take a listen and learn more about one of the biggest challenges the world is facing! The podcast aims to tackle the stigma and prejudice around refugees through telling stories. On the podcast we interview refugees, specialists and the people working to create a more inclusion society. Because at the end of the day we’re are all peoples.  

Sahyadri Friends Group

Craft workshop 

Time: Wednesday 17th June 18.00-18.30 


This session is conducted for adults and young people. We teach different craft activities.

Story telling 

Time: Thursday 19th June 18.30-19.00 


. This is specifically for kids above 5 years. We encourage parents or their children to narrate a story live on Facebook and then a quiz on the story is played. Its a fun filled session for kids. Which help them motivate reading. to keep them occupied and calm. This also boosts their self confidence to narrate and face other kids or members of the group. Under parent guidance. We monitor all these sessions to avoid any abuse or disrespectful comments. This is conducted once a month 

Live Cooking session

Time: Saturday 20th June 17.00-17.30pm 


This live session gives a platform to all homemakers to showcase their love for food and cooking. All kinds of dishes are cooked live to help the community learn new dishes and the secret ingredients which are passed on in families are revealed. Mostly authentic Indian cousins are cooked live to inspire other women to try out new dishes. As cooking has become the priority of most homes for healthy practices, keeping their well being. this helps the community to come together and celebrate the togetherness and a fun family cooking session. 

Sahyadri Live Bollywood dance session: 

Time: Friday 19th June 18.00-19.00 


We are conducting a Live Bollywood dance session on Friday the 19th of June on our Facebook page at 6:00pm to 7:00pm in the evening. It’s the most popular session throughout the lockdown situation. and becomes a family event. We dance on different dance numbers from the Bollywood movies. It’s a good workout and helps keep everyone’s mental health and wellbeing.  

MiFriendly Cities

Connect to CU – Accessing Higher Education 

Time: Thursday 18th June 14.00-16.00 


Register : 

To celebrate Refugee Week, CU Coventry, part of the Coventry University Group, and MiFriendly Cities, a project that takes a holistic approach to the integration of migrant communities in the West Midlands, have teamed up to host a special webinar. The free webinar will be tailored to refugees and migrants with leave to remain and that want to get back into education. Participants will be able to watch presentations before taking part in activities, discussions, and question and answer sessions, gaining the knowledge they need to make informed choices about higher education before making the commitment. They will also be able to hear about CU Group’s flexible learning offer, which enables students complete their degree around other commitments 

Symbols of Home  

Time: Daily 10am

Link:   MiFriendly Cities Twitter page 

Home should be a sanctuary and a safe, supportive place. It’s what MiFriendly Cities is helping to create in the West Midlands. But right now, during lockdown, it might also be places of solitude, or even sadness.  To mark Refugee Week, we are sharing images and ideas that symbolise home. For example, this may be an object, photograph or meal that reminds you of home! Make sure to use #MiFriendly in your posts so that we can share them!  

Coventry City Migration Team

The Virtual Pitch in  

Time: Daily from 10am


Virtual Pitch-In: Imagine If We Could All Share a Meal ‘Imagine’ is the national theme for Refugee Week 2020. Coventry City Council would like to hold a Virtual Bring and Share that celebrates diversity and different culture. “If we could share a meal together, what meal would you choose, and why is that meal special to you?” Each member of the Migration Team will post and share a picture of a meal that they would bring and share to our table. So join us at our table in sharing food that has a special meaning to you and your family. Let us know the story behind the food.  

 St. Francis Employability

 Imagine If …video

Time: Monday 15th June  10am  


 The “Imagine If” video reflects upon a number of individuals’ visions and hopes for the future. By using their imagination, they capture a glimpse of what the world/life could be like if anything were possible. Made especially for Coventry Welcomes, St. Francis Employability will be releasing this video across social media channels and networks to launch the event at 10am on Monday 15th June, inline with the national theme Imagine.  

A Taste of Coventry: 

Time: Tuesday to Friday from 10am

Tuesday –Manjit Tiwana: Indian Vegetable Pakori 

Wednesday  – Patience Okojie: Italian Margarita Pizza 

Thursday  -Mohammed Najjar: Syrian Hummus Fatteh  

Friday – Joanna Jackson: English Victoria Sponge


‘A taste of Coventry’ is a series of four videos made by individuals from different cultures that are present in Coventry. The videos are made by chefs from India, Syria, Italy and the UK who have chosen a traditional dish from their country. The aim of the videos is to teach people different world recipes from cultures that represent the current Coventry population and show the diversity within our city. Within the video they explain and demonstrate how to make this dish so people can follow at home 

 Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre

The Journey of Imagination  

Time: Daily 12:00pm  

Link: & & 

 Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre invite you to join us on a journey of imagination, virtually travelling across time as we showcase stories from clients sharing their passage of life and their hopes for future across the week. Every day for Refugee Week, we will be asking our clients to answer a different question, to illuminate on the reality of the integration journeys they face here in the UK.

Health Champions in the Community  

Time: Daily at 14.00pm  

Platform: Coventry Welcomes & CRMC’s Social media channels

Join the MiFriendly Cities Health Champions across social media everyday where we find out about the work they do in the community and what a Health Champion actually does. Each video will be read in a

World on a Plate cookery demo 

Time: Wednesday 17th June 16.00 


World on a Plate is a new enterprise helping to realise entrepreneurial potential amongst diverse refugee and migrant communities by “Connecting customers to unique culinary experiences”.  We will be hosting a cooking demonstration on how to prepare a popular Nigerian meal called Jollof Rice, Plantain & Nigerian Salad. This will be led by one of our migrant participants, Oge, who has a passion for cooking and hopes to be self-employed by setting up a Food Business in future

FWT – A centre for women presents

 Poetry & Art: Close your eyes and IMAGINE #Beone  

Time: Tuesday 16th June 10.00 -10.30 & 11.00-11.30am  

Link: To book your place please contact Amal on 07538092983 or  by midday on the 15th June 2020, first come first serve  

 Time to celebrate poetry & art with refugee women.   

Please join us in these workshops (women only) and share your ideas of art & poetry and let’s get creative.

Wider Migration Network

Wider Migration Network with Public Health Team – Key Messages on COVID-19 and the migrant communities  

Time: Monday 15th June 14.00-14.30 


The Wider Migration network teamed up with The Public Health team to reiterate the key messages on COVID-19, the UpToDate info on public health (social distancing) and some relevant tips and advice for our targeted audiences (migrant communities). Coventry Health Champions will be with us what they have done so far and their plan during this public health crisis.