SDCAS volunteer Viviane organises the charity’s contribution to the event each year, and says that as well as celebrating diversity, the event helps the day centre’s clients realise that the museum is open, free and available for them to use all year.
She says: “It is a good opportunity to make contacts and new friends, exchange ideas for possible future collaborations (with other organisations and the Horniman) and a great day out. This year we had a very high turnout of clients attending which means the event is working!
“The idea is for refugees to come and enjoy the day and mingle with the wider community. Our centre members can always come here and go to the aquarium, or go to the see the exhibits or relax in the garden. Sometimes they have a fear of going to museums and this is a way of saying it is open and you can come any time.”
SDCAS activities included art workshops run by volunteers Christa and Runa, a ceramics exhibition produced by our clients and curated by our garden and creative arts volunteer Robert, a storytelling session with volunteer Maurice, and Kenyan dancing led by Godfrey. Paintings and drawings by residents of Barry House, a hostel for asylum seekers run by the Home Office, were also on show in an exhibition called Here and Now. The art was produced during therapeutic art sessions, which provide an opportunity for adults and children who have been victims of political violence and displacement to express themselves.
Viviane says some clients also find volunteering opportunities via the museum, giving them a route to learn new skills and to future employment.
The Horniman Museum’s Crossing Borders event takes place every year on the first Saturday of March - we will see you there in 2020.