‘The Journey of the Travelling Suitcase’ is a project coordinated by Wirral Deen Centre as part of their Education Outreach.
The project was created to engage schools with learning about sanctuary seekers and to create a special symbol of welcome for refugees.
Schools were informed of the project and thirty-one Wirral schools requested to take part. The travelling suitcase became four travelling suitcases to cover four parts of Wirral.
The suitcases have travelled throughout June. and each school has had time to use the resources, activities and books inside to stimulate discussions and reflections with the children.
Each school was asked to decorate a handkerchief, with messages of welcome for sanctuary seekers reflecting their own school values or ethos. Handkerchiefs have been added to the suitcase as they have journeyed around Wirral and they are all unique and special.
Schools located close enough to each other were able to walk the suitcase to the next school which was very special for the children.
The final part of the project will involve bringing the suitcases to Heart 4 Refugees and sharing the handkerchiefs with the refugees. Eventually, we will work together to sew all the handkerchiefs into a banner of welcome.
A spokesperson for Heart 4 Refugees said, “We were thrilled a few months ago to be invited to take part in the Suitcases of Faith project with Wirral Schools and the Deen Centre.
“Members of our refugee community volunteered to talk to school children about their own journey and experiences of leaving their homes and families and coming to the UK. It was a thought-provoking and educational for everyone and we can’t thank our friends and the organisers enough for their contribution to the event.
“To hear someone say they felt desperately alone with no one until they found your organisation is something you never forget and the words that drive you forward to help and support as many as possible. And none of that support would be delivered without our amazing team of volunteers.”
Heart4Refugees was founded by Kathy Vesey and Chris Branch. They supported Syrian refugees who had arrived in Wirral via the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) as well as supporting over 100 Asylum Seekers residing at the Holiday Inn hotel in Hoylake.
In February 2021 Kathy launched Heart4Refugees CIC.
To find out more, visit https://www.heart4refugees.org/get-involved