Refugee Week 2017 kicks off on Monday 19 June, with local events all around the world tackling hostility to asylum seekers in the press; showcasing refugees’ stories and talents; and raising awareness of the reality of the experiences of those who have fled their homes for sanctuary elsewhere.
And on Sunday 18 June, actress, writer and president of The Helen Bamber Foundation, Emma Thompson will be launching an appeal for a charity that has helped thousands of asylum seekers and those granted refugee status who have survived extreme cruelty such as torture and trafficking rebuild their lives after the most harrowing of experiences.
The charity provides much needed help from helping asylum seekers with basic needs such as accommodation and legal representation to therapy to deal with the most traumatic experiences imaginable and protect themselves from further trafficking and exploitation.
The Helen Bamber Foundation was set up by Helen Bamber, who after helping at the liberation of Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp dedicated her life to help survivors bear witness to atrocity and rebuild their lives. This included victims of extreme human cruelty in Chile, South Africa, Northern Ireland, 150 countries worldwide where abuses of human rights occur from political persecution to domestic slavery to sexual trafficking and the many countries where your sexuality can get you killed.
Emma Thompson met Helen Bamber at a fundraiser and became very close to the work of the human rights champion who died in 2014, helping the Helen Bamber Foundation first as Chair of Trustees and now as President.
“The people that we help often arrive at our door feeling barely human. The joy of seeing someone whose needs are so acute receiving the emotional, medical and legal support they need, seeing them gradually recover their humanity in this highly compassionate environment is something I will always treasure,” said Emma Thompson. “I hope you will join me in supporting this unique charity the Helem Bamber Foundation.”