Orange Hearts for Refugees

A group of Quakers came together ahead of Area Meeting in January for an activity organised by the newly revived CEQ Asylum Group.

Friends made ‘valentines’ cards to send to MPs, with messages such as “show your heart for refugees” or “refugees need love”. Cards used the Orange Heart symbol, which is based on the flag created by refugee artist Yara Said for the refugee team at the Olympics. The colours were inspired by a lifebelt representing hope. MPs will have received many of these cards this February, as part of the Fair Begins Here campaign organised by Together with Refugees.

Barbara Forbes who facilitated the activity said: “Thank you to everybody who came to make the cards – I was so happy! Because it exceeded my expectations and there was such a brilliant atmosphere.”

Many Friends also took part in card making at their Local Meetings, and some also crafted orange hearts for a display at Peace Hub on Bull St (pictured above). If your meeting took part, please let us know and share any photos (with permission).

This was just the beginning for the Asylum Group – at March Area Meeting there will be the opportunity to decorate banners to be displayed at Meeting Houses with the message ‘Quakers Welcome Refugees’. If you would like to become more involved in the Asylum Group, planning activities or bringing them to your local meeting, please contact Barbara Forbes (details in the blue membership book).

You can also pop into Peace Hub to see the display of orange hearts, find out more about Together with Refugees, and take part in simple actions to support the Fair Begins Here campaign. The Hub (in front of Bull St Quaker Meeting House in central Birmingham) is open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 11am and 5pm, and the theme ‘Who We Are: how we treat refugees reflects who we are‘ will run throughout spring 2024.