A busy Avenues Adult Education Centre during Refugee Week.
A busy Avenues Adult Education Centre during Refugee Week.

Refugee Week celebration at Avenues Centre: A week of unity, culture and community

The Avenues Adult Education Centre has held a series of events in celebration of Refugee Week.

This week-long event, running from June 17-23, aims to honour the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees in our community.

Refugee Week is an annual event dedicated to celebrating the positive contributions made by refugees to the UK. In a world marked by displacement and the search for refuge, this year’s Refugee Week theme “Finding Freedom” – with a focus on family – encapsulates the profound journey of resilience, strength, and unity that defines the refugee experience.

Xhesiona Torra provided a musical performance.

At the heart of the celebration, held at the Avenues Adult Education Centre, Park Avenue, Hull, was a cultural celebration featuring an array of international cuisines, traditional dress displays and a musical performance by Xhesiona Torra, 27, who shared her journey.

She said: “I have been coming to ESOL for about a year to learn English. I arrived seven years ago from Albania, first to London and then to Hull three years ago.

“I come three days a week and love the community. I have made close friendships and love to speak and understand the English language.”

The celebrations also included a “Staff Mile” walk to show solidarity and support for refugees. Throughout the week, various activities have been designed to engage ESOL learners and community members, highlighting the significant contributions of refugees.

Rachel Nolan, ESOL Manager at The Avenues Centre, expressed her enthusiasm: “We are excited to celebrate Refugee Week with our ESOL learners and the wider community. This is a wonderful opportunity to share cultures and support refugees who enrich our community.

“Through events like these, the centre aims to promote understanding and appreciation for the diverse cultures that enrich our community.”

Among the attendees, Nasimeh Jafari, who attends ESOL with her mother Kolsum Jafari, spoke about their experience: “We came from Iran, but our nationality is Afghan. We have been coming for just under four years and ESOL has helped us integrate into the community.

“My sister, Habibeh Jafari, has come over from Germany for four weeks to visit us and we have loved this event. It has been good fun for all of us.”

Cllr Mark Collinson is Lord Mayor for 2024/25
Drypool Bridge in Clarence Street, Hull.