Catford March meeting: Being a refugee in London

When: Thursday 17th March, 7.30pm
Where: Catford (map)
Speaker: Iolanda Chirico (manager and founder of AFRIL)

Being a refugee in London
The experience of one grassroots charity in Lewisham

Action for Refugees in Lewisham (AFRIL) is a small, locally run charity working with about 120 refugees and asylum seekers in the local community.

 Lewisham has a high refugee and asylum seeker population, and AFRIL aims to relieve poverty and isolation amongst this vulnerable group, to advance their education, and provide services to improve social integration.

 AFRIL opened to the public in July 2006. It began by providing a free advice service and a supplementary school – The Rainbow Club – for children aged between 4 and 11. Today it also offers support for destitute families including clothes, food and other essentials. AFRIL works with partners to provide adult English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) classes with crèche, and a Sunday tea group.

 Our speaker this month is Iolanda Chirico, manager and founder of AFRIL. She previously worked with Bromley Refugee Network and Lewisham Refugee Network as their General Manager, and holds a degree in Sociology & Communications as well as management and financial training.