Participants in a project involving refugees, asylum seekers and local school children produced a series of colourful banners that are now on display in the café and main stairwell at Wrexham Museum.
The Hiraeth project, run by Just Across (The Red cross) and Arts Connection/Cyswllt Celf, and funded by the Art Council of Wales and the National Lottery, celebrated the stories of people from around the world who have arrived in Wrexham, encouraged local children to learn about life in other countries and helped teach English and Welsh to refugees and asylum seekers now living in Wrexham.
L, (one of the people who have been by Just Across, a Red Cross charity for refugees and asylum seekers) said: “The storytelling work helped me prepare for my English exam at Cambrian College. I passed my level two exam last week with 79%. I want to be a nurse. I need to speak good English to do that.”
A (another participant in the project) related: “I left my country alone when I was 10 years old. At last I came to Wrexham. I have been here in Wrexham for two and a half years. I love Wrexham – everything is here for me. I play football for a local team. I can study and work here in Wrexham. Now I want to join the police.”
Fiona Collins (project storyteller) said “I have gained a huge amount from doing this project and I am proud to have been able to take part. I hope I have made a helpful contribution to enriching the lives of these lovely and deserving people.”
Catrin Williams (project Artist) added “It was great to see people’s readiness to take part increase over time, as they got to know and trust me. This kind of work cannot be rushed.”
Teaching Staff from St Giles and Rhostyllen schools explained how the children were involved in this project: “The children in our two schools which took part were very excited to communicate with the refugees. The exchange of postcards, in particular, delighted both the refugees, when they received them, and the children, when they got their replies.”
For more information, contact Wrexham Museum on 01978 297 460.