Our own Rafi Cooper joins the Refugee Week Umbrella Parade

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Posted 22 June 2011, 0 comments

Rafi Cooper, Media Officer at The Children's Society, shares his experience of attending his first umbrella parade for Refugee Week.

People at a Refugee Week event

This week I have been a huge convert to the importance of Refugee Week. This is the one time of the year where the mainstream media are (sometimes surprisingly) on the side of refugees and asylum seekers.

On Sunday I went to my first annual Refugee Week umbrella parade. Why umbrellas, you may ask? Firstly, the intermittent rain showers rendered them particularly useful. Although, unless God is on the side of Refugee Week (which seems to me a distinct possibility), this was more happenstance than planning. Secondly, Refugee Week is about protection of refugees (as well as their contribution to Britain) and umbrellas offer protection. Simple.

Having been given my attractive bright orange steward's vest, I marched with the multi-coloured parade from Victoria Embankment Gardens over the Millennium Bridge to the South Bank's Celebrating Sanctuary festival. 

Led by a group of drummers and music, the parade, attended by over 200 men, women and children, attracted many disbelieving stares, as if people were not used to umbrellas in the central London weekend rain.

As we finished, the sun burst through and umbrellas were put down as everyone explored the Celebrating Sanctuary Festival, an event that brings cultures from around the world together. Overall, it was a fun-filled family day out, which I would highly recommend to everyone for 2012.

Rafi Cooper, Media Officer at The Children's Society

 

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