Celebrate Sanctuary in Merton – Refugee Week 2003

To celebrate the sanctuary asylum seekers and refugees can find in Merton, The South London Tamil Welfare Group & Merton Asylum Welcome in association with London Borough of Merton organised an evening of music, dance and food, which was held at Merton Hall on Saturday 21st June as part of National Refugee Week 2003.

The event was very well supported with standing room only for latecomers. The evening was a successful celebration of the creative talents and cultural influences of South London based refugees. The artists who performed on the night were

· South London Tamil Dance Group
· The Kolpaktchi Ukrainian band
· GodsOwn Afro Beat
· South London Tamil Music Group and
· Zamble African Dance Company

Councillor Maxi Martin, Mayor of Merton, Tom Cox MP, Michael Kingsley from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and Margaret Lally from the Refugee Council also attended the event.

The speeches made at the event increased the audience’s awareness and understanding of the real plight of refugees and asylum seekers in Merton and highlighted the contribution that refugees make to Merton’s social, cultural and economic heritage.

The South London Tamil Welfare Group offers advice and support for the Tamil community, especially refugees and asylum seekers, and provides activities for the elderly and youth including cultural events. Merton Asylum Welcome provides information, advice, practical help and emotional support to asylum seekers and refugees in Merton. The event was made possible by funding from the Merton Arts Development Fund, the Refugee Council and the South London Tamil Welfare Group.

For more information contact Viv Philpot at Merton Arts Development on 020 8545 3571