As part of Refugee Week 2020, Sanctuary Hosting is looking for designers to help us create beautiful key rings for our guests and volunteers.  The theme for this year is ‘Imagine’, so we ask you do to just that.  The design should capture the spirit of sharing homes and spaces.  It can draw from the Sanctuary Hosting logo, the Refugee Week logo or neither!  The best designs will become key rings to give to all those we help, and those who provide homes for those who are homeless.  Anyone can get involved, and send a design to us.  Please send before 17th June so we can showcase your designs in Refugee Week which starts on 15th June. Thanks!


Key Ring


In keeping with the #Imagine theme of #RefugeeWeek2020 members of our community have contributed art, stories and poetry to share during the week.  We’ll be sharing some of these on our social media (our Facebook page here and our Twitter page here ) and also here on our website.

The first piece we’d like to share is this short story, and we ask you imagine yourself in Asmara’s shoes…



Although Asmara lived in Oxford for several years she is always an outsider. A stranger for everything and anything, it seems even the air she breathes, such a fundamental thing, alien, smells strange, has a different quality. For a thick cloud hangs over Asmara, one she can never outrun. 

Perhaps you think she is spoiled. But what do you really know about her? So many myths exist about her. Sometimes she knows what you are saying about her; at other times she only suspects, but is never permitted to defend herself. 

Her truth is stranger than fiction. Back home she was a queen of her life and her territory. How joyful she was! She would rise to gorgeous sunrise rays of sunshine, dress in her well-groomed clothes, and head to work. Walking through bright and breezy air, to the welcoming surroundings of her job, her friends and colleagues. She put everything into her job.

A single tongue single culture single race, where equality mutual interest was a norm, made every minute of her life worth living.

After work, she enjoys walking through the peaceful, pleasant streets. She took pleasure sitting along her way breathing fresh unpolluted air accompanied by swinging trees, tantalizing birdsongs, the homely smells of cooking wafting the neighbourhood.

She was not poor or destitute back then!

She had more than enough, enough to support herself, her family her immediate relatives. However, the unsettling climate of war and civil unrest troubled her bright future and endangered her life. Everything she thought she knew was put into question.

Now Asmara arrived to the UK, she is perplexed and her life is in shambles. She lives in a constant fear. She sweats to make ends meet, the only breadwinner in her family. Even her beautiful clothes are seen as fancy dress. 

Did she have a choice? Has she less right to live than you or I?

Uncertainty of her life then began in exile as people paint her “migrant”. They are right, they don’t have clue. But just imagine that you are destitute, and must leave England for Asmara’s native country. You have no choice to return to the UK without facing torture or inhumane treatment, perhaps death. 

What do you think about her, now that you have breathed the same air?

Asmara, so close to despair, constantly yearns. She yearns to rediscover peace of mind, to be able to settle, to stand on her own two feet, to feel confident and self-fulfilled. She yearns to live free as a human being.

How, where, when will she be free? You must decide to give her sanctuary.

Also, thank you for those who offered her love, care and sanctuary.