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Backpacks raising awareness of life as a refugee

Words by Abi Scaife

A 2-metre tower of rucksacks has appeared in London.

Uh - what?

It might sound strange at first, but it’s all part of a grand plan - one to raise awareness of refugees' experiences.

The structure was commissioned by the charity Migrant Help and is on display at London South Bank on 20th June 2023 - World Refugee Day.


The art installation, called ‘Bags of Hope’, symbolises the hopes and dreams that refugees carry with them to their new country. 

Designed by artist Sophie Cunningham, the vision was inspired by stories told to her by her partner, who was a child refugee in Afghanistan, and how he was only able to take with him what he could carry when fleeing his home.

It is hoped that the art installation will encourage empathy and understanding of the refugee experience, and how important it is to be understanding, and to welcome those in need with open arms.

Charity check-in 

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

The RNLI. The RNLI is a charity saving lives at sea through lifeboat search and rescue, lifeguards, water safety education and flood rescue. Find out more here.

Migrant Help. Is a charity supporting those affected by displacement and exploitation. Support them here.

Refugee Action. This charity helps refugees build safe, hopeful and productive new lives in the UK. Learn more here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Reduced Inequalities.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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