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Cross-stitching Cultures

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A unique project has been launched in Bradford which will see pupils from local schools strengthen their ties with fellow students from Syria.

Five schools from the city have been taking part in the ‘What is Home?’ project spearheaded by Human Relief Foundation (HRF) and Horton Grange primary school.

ARTISTS: Children from six schools across Bradford got involved in the project, pictured are Horton Grange students (l-r) Alisha Wilkinson, Eshal Ahmed, Abu-Bakr Khan, Ameera Adris, Aniqah Rehman

ARTISTS: Children from six schools across Bradford got involved in the project, pictured are Horton Grange students (l-r) Alisha Wilkinson, Eshal Ahmed, Abu-Bakr Khan, Ameera Adris, Aniqah Rehman

Youngsters, from both countries, have been tasked with drawing their idea of home on a small piece of canvas material with all the final pieces then sewn together to make a giant patchwork canvas which will be officially unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Bradford during Refugee Week.

Representatives from HRF have recently flown over to Jordan, where many Syrian refugees have been living since fleeing from their war-torn homes, to see children complete canvases of their own.

After depicting their images of home on a small piece of material, the HRF team then teamed up with schools in Bradford to hold an identical project with local schoolchildren.

Qais Khaliq, HRF fundraising co-ordinator, explained how the project came about.

DRAWINGS: Children from Syria illustrate their idea of ‘home’ with pictures including tanks, blood and war, whilst Bradford pupils depict much happier imagery

DRAWINGS: Children from Syria illustrate their idea of ‘home’ with pictures including tanks, blood and war, whilst Bradford pupils depict much happier imagery

“Human relief foundation has been working with refugees for more than 20 years and did some work with Horton Grange last year,” he said.

“We have been talking for a while about doing some sort of art project which can help link children in Bradford with children in Syria.

“This idea of ‘What is Home?’ will see the children in Bradford and the children in Syria both complete the same work which will allow people to visually see the contrast between what is happening in both countries.

“We want the children here to learn how lucky they are and that not everybody is as privileged as others.”

DRAWINGS: Children from Syria illustrate their idea of ‘home’ with pictures including tanks, blood and war, whilst Bradford pupils depict much happier imagery

DRAWINGS: Children from Syria illustrate their idea of ‘home’ with pictures including tanks, blood and war, whilst Bradford pupils depict much happier imagery

Local sewing group, Sewing Bradford, will be voluntarily stitching the massive canvas together at the end of this month which will take hours of work.

Schools involved in the project include: Horton Grange Primary, Copthorne, Southfield Grange, Lidget Green, St Oswalds and Princeville.

Nick Bell, Headteacher at Grange Technology College added:  “We are delighted to be able to involve our students in contributing to the canvas patchwork for Refugee Week.

“We will be promoting the event across the Southfield Grange Campus to help raise awareness amongst our students of the types of issues and challenges faced by refugees.”

Horton Grange Primary are currently working towards a ‘City of Sanctuary award’ which highlights the positive work an educational establishment does in regard to refugees.

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