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Alternative advent calendar opening doors to a compassionate asylum system

This week, alongside One Strong Voice, we delivered an advent calendar with a difference to decision makers, because wouldn’t it be incredible if they would open the door to hear the voices of refugees? This is our ultimate wish this festive season.

This advent calendar doesn’t include any chocolatey treats (sorry about that!). Instead, behind every paper door, is a call for a fair and compassionate asylum system.

We created it in partnership with One Strong Voice, a network of campaigners with lived experience of the UK’s immigration and asylum system. Inside, people who have left their homes in search of safety, talk about just some of the countless closed doors they faced when they arrived in the UK – and the alternative welcome they’d wish for this year.

You can follow along on our social media, as we reveal all the doors we need to open for refugees in the UK this festive season. These are some of them...

“If I had been able to reunite with my family, I would have experienced what I always wanted to experience, motherhood.”

“My dream would have been to have access to a kitchen, so I would have had the choice to eat the food I wanted and feel empowered.”

“My biggest wish would have been to have access to healthcare, disclose my chronic illness and not have to go so long without access to treatment.”

We're sending the calendar to the new Home Secretary, James Cleverley, and to Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, as we want to encourage decision makers to acknowledge the lived experiences, rights, and humanity of refugees. The hope is that alongside us, our political leaders to recognise the impact their current policies are having on people and get to work on creating a fair and efficient asylum system which supports people to rebuild their lives.  

As Angela, one of One Strong Voice’s member perfectly said: “we want to open the door to change, by identifying the challenging hostile practices people seeking asylum face, and advocating for urgent change. This advent calendar brings the voices of people with lived experience of the asylum system to the doors of decision makers - we hope they'll take notice."

Right now, One Strong Voice are campaigning for a fair and compassionate asylum system that helps refugees rebuild their lives. Will you join them in welcoming refugees?

Follow their work here!
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