In an attempt to save money related to hosting a fundraising page, PAFRAS has officially signed up as a charity on Givey where more than 100% of donations will be retained. We are no longer a member of Just Giving and our page on this site has been taken down.
These changes have come about as a result of our need to cut membership costs and maximise income from donations for PAFRAS and our fundraisers.
As a result there are now new ways to donate such as donating a portion of your sales on eBay through the PayPal Giving Fund and even adds a social dynamic so that you can link your Facebook and Twitter account so that you may share with your friends the causes you have contributed to.
We are very sorry to announce that the Board of Trustees have taken the difficult decision to close our Tuesday drop-in.
Tuesday 15 October 2013 will be the last drop-in on a Tuesday for the foreseeable future. We will continue to offer a drop-in service every Thursday, including the provision of casework and mental health support as well as numerous other services through our partnerships with other organisations.
At the Thursday drop-in we will also continue to serve hot meals and distribute food parcels, toiletries and clothing as well as making small hardship payments for essential expenses such as telephone credit or travel to important legal and medical appointments. For this we will continue to need your support. If you have a donation that you wish to make after Tuesday 15 October please bring it to the Thursday drop-in, 10 AM to 1:30 PM, at St Aidan’s Community Hall (map). If you aren’t able to make it on a Thursday please get in touch and we’ll arrange to receive your donation at the PAFRAS office in Chapeltown.
Long-time supporters of PAFRAS will recall that in July 2011, when we reduced our casework provision from two to one drop-ins per week, we had hoped that that would be a temporary change. Obviously things have not turned around as we quickly as we would like, the Board has made this difficult decision now with the aim of securing the longer-term future of PAFRAS. We do still have cause for optimism about the future, and, if we have the resources to do so, we hope to (re)expand our service in the future – the need for it has never been greater.
Fusion – a taste of jazz, folk, flamenco, Africa and the East
As part of our tenth anniversary celebrations PAFRAS and its supporters have organised a number of events throughout the year — both inside and outside of our drop-in.
Fusion are a multi-instrumentalist band breaking new ground in world music. They mix and blend songs and sounds from a variety of traditions, as well as their own original material, for each performance drawing on a wide range of instruments – from jazz percussion, saxophone, flute, melodica, mandolin and violin, to keyboards, flamenco and electric guitars, bag pipes, clarinet and recorders, piano accordion, Irish whistle, double bass and Arabic lute.
They draw on songs and music from Morocco, India, Greece, Egypt, Hungary, Zimbabwe, Syria and the Punjab, mixing melodies and moods to forge a new highly original sound. Their latest project has been to explore the songs of the Sephardic Jews of 15th Century Spain, creating a haunting new piece with echoes of the Inquisition…. A new song learnt in Greece tells the story of migration and a traditional folk tune from Hungary is combined with an Indian chant. They recently performed at Otley Court House Art Centre and are playing at Square Chapel Arts Centre in November. So this is a good chance to see them in Leeds.
Fusion have performed at MusicPort, the regional world music event, and they are lined up at a number of venues and art centres in Yorkshire in 2013 . Audience feedback includes ‘simply stunning’ ‘excellent’ ‘most talented group I have seen in twenty years’.
In 2012 PAFRAS collaborated with Lora Evans from the University of Leeds to take a qualitative look at the experiences of refugees and (refused) asylum seekers of volunteering. ‘Experiences of Volunteering’ presents some of her findings in the form of case studies of some of the individuals who participated.
Download the research here.
Friday 12 July, 19:30 — 22.30
Robin Fishwick (bandcamp), is a local singer, musician and composer, playing frequently at folk and open mike sessions in the city. His songs, varying from the wry to the contemplative, often reflect his Quaker values.
He plays a range of woodwind including renaissance instruments, recorders and xaphoon and his stringed instrument of choice is the timple of the Canary Islands.
Tonight he’ll be playing with local musicians Rob Langley (aka Cheb Ghobbi) on the bass and Dibbs Dibblethwaite on keyboards and woodwind.
Also performing are Amyas/Henry “two names are cool” Merivale and Thomas Brouwen (he’s a tall man with a deep voice and when he’s not plucking at a double bass he can be found wielding the ukulele).
Last but not least we have Leeds’ own Hurdy-Gurdy Man performing on one of the most bizarre instruments in folk music! Visit his MySpace
All proceeds will go to Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers; supporting destitute refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds since 2003.
Tickets (£5/£3 concessions) available on the door or from ticket source.
In their well argued response to <em>Transforming Legal Aid</em> the Asylum Support Appeals Project make the moral and practical cases for retaining legal aid for migrants of all kinds; including refused asylum seekers and show how implementing the proposed changes would lead to many miscarriages of justice.
Download the document here: http://www.asaproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/ASAP-response-to-Legal-Aid-consultation.pdf
Write to your MP: http://www.pafras.org.uk/templates/
What was it that made Great Britain Great
Was it taking riches from others at a very fast rate
Did we truly believe it was our right
To feel superior to others just because we were white
Or was it that we recognised the mistakes made in our Colonial days
By trying to atone and put right the errors of our ways
Have we now moved on to become a better land
Or do we still tend to bury our heads in the sand
History shows it is hard to achieve
A Government that is open and does not deceive
Why do some politicians start out intending to serve
But often end up taking a lot more than they deserve
It is hard to please everyone of that I am sure
What we need is a display of intentions which are totally pure
Have things got better as time has moved on
Or have we now come to worship the evil of Mammon
I am not trying to paint a picture which is all doom and gloom
Diversity and equality has been afforded much room
Whilst recession and austerity measures are making things hard
Money’s been found for new retail centres and London’s Shard
Does poverty in this country truly exist
Or has the true picture become clouded in mist
Between rich and poor the gap is getting bigger
But to live a reasonable existence how do we calculate that figure
Whilst many poor people are sinking at what appears to be a fast rate
It is where and when you are born that really determines your fate
If we look at third world countries and try to compare
It could be said that the citizens of Britain have a deal which is fair
Surely it is not just ourselves that we should be striving for
Shouldn’t we also be trying to help those fleeing real poverty and war
Many arrive at a British border or port
It is quite often their last chance of hope — the last resort
Escaping from oppression, torture, risk of death or much hurt
Arriving at what they think is a safe haven, often treated like dirt
They are looked upon by many as though they come from another planet
In a so called civilised nation where many display the traits of a gannet
Many living here have developed a culture of greed
Whilst totally overlooking those who are in desperate need
Thirty thousand pounds for one cocktail in a London nightclub, I kid you not
Don’t you think some people have totally lost the plot
If you had been born in a country of real poverty or a war torn place
To escape, improve or save your life, wouldn’t you have been at the head of the race
Refugees and Asylum Seekers are human beings just like you and me
But unlike us they haven’t been handed everything on a plate, its plain to see
It’s hard to understand why where you were born
Will often determine whether your life will be happy or forlorn
Surely all human beings have the same basic right
Food on the table, warmth and a bed for the night
Luckily some of those who arrive in Leeds
Have somewhere to turn for help with those needs
PAFRAS was founded by Christine Majid
Now ten years on it’s a good job she did
Starting by giving out food and advice from her car
She never envisaged things would develop so far
Opening a twice weekly drop in at St Aidan’s Hall
She has provided much needed support to many who would otherwise fall
Receiving almost eight thousand visits a year
The necessity for this facility is totally clear
Providing food, clothing, advice and a friendly chat
She has created a large happy family; there is no doubt of that
Those who have nothing seem the most grateful of all
For the little they are given to try and help them stand tall
Volunteers and donations are crucial to ensure the Charity survives
As it continues to assist others trying to change their lives
There is a lot to be thankful for after ten healthy years
But austerity measures and lack of funding has raised many worrying fears
Without such support, we ponder, where will our clients turn
Many have no where to live and denied a wage to earn
Some applications to remain in the UK have dragged on ten years or more
It makes you wonder what the UK Border Agency was set up for
So to celebrate PAFRAS a decade on
It is you the public we must rely upon
If with this poem you feel you agree
I am happy with that and will not charge a fee
If however you feel you would like to donate
To help us raise ten thousand pounds, then that would be great.
If you do act because of what I have written
Then you have gone a small way in helping put the Great back in Britain
The Big Society is what David Cameron thinks he has made
But we’ve been all in it together for at least the last decade
Copyright by John Taylor 21/04/13
No Borders is running a film screening next week on Monday the 28th November. They’re showing two films — ‘In This World’ and ‘Those Left Behind’ — from 8.30pm at the Space Project, 37–38 Mabgate Green (spaceproject.org.uk).
“In This World is a 2002 British docudrama directed by Michael Winterbottom. The film follows two young Afghan refugees, Jamal Udin Torabi and Enayatullah, as they leave a refugee camp in Pakistan for a better life in London. Short on money, lacking proper papers, and forced to travel in trucks, lorries, and shipping containers, the two boys find themselves at the mercy of the people-smugglers who make their living out of others’ misery.”
What is it like to teach in a school where pupils simply vanish without trace? How do you feel about losing your best mate at school, something you never thought could happen? What happens when your neighbour of many years disappears over night?
Those Left Behind speaks to some of the people who live in Glasgow’s communities where people disappear – without warning.
Those Left Behind explores the impact that forced detention has upon the communities in which Asylum Seekers have settled.
The Vucaj family lived in the Kingsway community in Glasgow for 6 years, before they were forcibly removed. This short film gives voice to the people of Kingsway, a West Glasgow neighbourhood, and help us understand how deeply integrated and important asylum seeking families have become in the communities in which they have settled. It also allows us to see how traumatic & disturbing it is when friends and neighbours disappear without trace.
PAFRAS features in a article on legal aid, the closure of the Immigration Advisory Service and access to Justice published in today’s G2, read it here.