Yesterday I took part in Give A Home, an incredible campaign created by Amnesty International and Sofar Sounds. It aimed to shine a light on the plight of refugees, and the need for us all to do more to ensure they feel welcome and safe.
There are currently over 22 million people affected by the refugee crisis across the world. Most commonly, refugees are forced to flee their country because of war, persecution or violence, but more and more we are seeing climate change play a large role in the displacement of communities. Climate refugees are those forced to flee their homes due to sudden or gradual alterations in the natural environment, related to one of three impacts of climate change; sea-level rise, extreme weather events, and drought and water scarcity.
Holly Branson, Sofar 2017, Emmanuel Jal
Over the last few weeks, the people of the British Virgin Islands have experienced these effects first hand as Hurricane Irma tore through the islands. The whole region has been destroyed and families and neighbours we love dearly have been left with nothing and in dire need of help. And this increase in extreme weather due to climate change is only going to become more frequent, forcing potentially millions of people globally to leave their homes in search of safety.
Yesterday’s gig however, was a firm reminder that refugees are not alone and there are thousands of people who share in the belief that everyone deserves a home, not just the memory of one.
Holly Branson, Sofar 2017, Ed Sheeran
In fact, with 1000 artists, 300 jam-packed living-room style gigs taking place in 60 countries (on the same day/night), all in support of Give A Home, it was a firm reminder that together we can show the world that we welcome refugees, not only into our communities, but also into our homes.
I felt extremely lucky to be joined by Ed and other artists Jaja and BLACK ALLEY – not to mention my co-MC, Emmanuel Jal who shared some spoken word around his experience of life as a child soldier and refugee.
The refugee crisis is real and growing, and people need our help. Join me and stand in solidarity with refugees.
- Find out more about Amnesty’s work with refugees and support where you can.