British Red Cross supports young refugees to integrate through theatre

By Gurvinder Singh & Debbie Busler

While performers recite famous lines from William Shakespeare on the Globe theatre’s main stage, a few yards away is a room where Abye and other young migrants and refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Asia are gathered. They alternate between periods of intense focus creating puppets to tell stories and bursts of laughter as they practice freezing into various dramatic poses.

Partnering with the Compass Collective and the Globe Theatre in London, the British Red Cross facilitates a drama group for young refugees and asylum seekers. Abye and his friends at the group have developed a production that they performed at the Globe Theatre for the public during Refugee Week. Tickets for the show were sold out.

Abye and his friends arrived in London alone as children without their parents or families. They joined the British Red Cross to integrate into the local community and benefited from its protection services.

“My friends and I come from Eritrea. There are so many problems and not much future for us there, so I left. It took me nearly two years to reach the UK and I traveled alone through many countries. I spent months in Libya waiting to cross the sea. It was very hard times and we were detained and treated badly until we could pay to move on,” Abye explains.

Through the project, the British Red Cross and its partners are supporting young migrants and refugees to find their voices, express themselves, and share their experiences with the public.

Its benefits are summed up by Irfan from Iraq. He shares, “I joined this group because my friends told me about it. I am learning a lot. It has made me happy to meet these other guys and to do this together.”

Learn more about this project:

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