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Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars Pic: Jay Dickman

Help for refugees

See the uplifting, multi-award winning film Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars at the Electric Palace this weekend to help further the tireless work of the 900-strong Hastings Supports Refugees group, says Annie Waite.

In collaboration with the Hastings Supports Refugees Group, the Electric Palace cinema will be screening the multi award-winning film, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, on Sunday 8 November at 12.30pm, and Monday 9 November at 8pm. It follows a group of musicians who formed a band after being displaced from their homes during the brutal civil war in Sierra Leone.

Hastings Supports Refugees fundraising poster

Poster designed by Ross Andrews-Clifford

The band is a potent example of the ability of the human spirit to persevere through unimaginable hardship and emerge with optimism intact. Following the bandmates through their tour of refugee camps, debut recording session and painful return to their country for the first time since the war, the film shows the band as they rise from the ashes of war and inspire a nation to believe in the healing power of music.

All proceeds from cinema ticket sales (£5 each) will go to the Hastings Supports Refugees group, who will use the money raised to help refugees, asylum seekers and migrants both abroad, in response to the current refugee crisis, and locally.

Raffle prizes have all been generously donated by local artists, restaurants and businesses so it’s a really broad Hastings effort, and designer Ross Andrews-Clifford created the promotional poster (pictured, above right) in support of the cause.

Help where it’s most needed

The Hastings Supports Refugees Group started in September 2015 and now has over 900 members on Facebook. More than 80 people attended an initial meeting at the Observer Building, demonstrating the strength of feeling in the town towards the current, horrific refugee crisis and the desire to do something positive in response.

From money donated to date the Group has sent £700 to a group working in ‘the jungle’ in Calais, L’Auberge des Migrants, for wooden shelters.  More than £2500 was donated by the Hastings community for an ongoing tent project in Calais. The Group has also sent clothing donations and firewood to Calais with local volunteers, and is in the process of working with other local groups to collect and send clothing and other much needed supplies to the Greek islands.

Olivia Cavanagh, one of the members of Hastings Supports Refugees Group, says “We will use donations from upcoming fundraising events to continue to get aid to the places where it is most needed. In addition to supporting work abroad we hope to use some of the funds raised for refugee communities already in Hastings and St Leonards.”

“Hastings remains a dispersal area for people who have claimed asylum in the UK and there are regular, new arrivals to the town; life does not necessarily get easier once a person makes it to the UK,” says Cavanagh. “The local project, Links, has been supporting refugee communities for many years and we hope to support them as much as we can,” she continues.

About Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have risen like a phoenix out of the ashes of war and enflamed the passions of fans across the globe with their uplifting songs of hope, faith and joy. From their humble beginnings in West African refugee camps, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have performed on some of the world’s most prestigious stages and matured into one of Africa’s top touring and recording bands. They also now play an important diplomatic role as spokespersons and for the ever-increasing millions of refugees worldwide.

The band’s sound is a mixture of home-grown beats from West Africa, roots-reggae and Western-influenced rhythm and blues, combined with heartfelt lyrics which condemn war and encourage social change. “Their music, played on drums and electric guitars, bass, and keyboards, is a lilting, infectious, often joyful sound, influenced by Jamaican reggae and reflecting their wartime experiences simply and literally,” says Sam Graham, on Amazon.com, about the band.

More information about the fundraiser

Get your tickets for Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars on Sunday 8 November, 12.30pm or Monday 9 November, 8pm at Electric Palace Cinema, 39a High Street, Hastings, TN34 3ER.

Have a prize to donate? Want to buy raffle tickets? Can you display a promotional poster? Please get in touch: 07814 119 467.

Join the Hastings Supports Refugees Group on Facebook.

Posted 22:32 Tuesday, Nov 3, 2015 In: Film

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