In 2015, the world witnessed the worst forcible displacement of people since World War II. Four million Syrian people were displaced due to conflict in the region, as were an increasing number from Africa due to violence and political instability.
In 2017, there were approximately 120,000 refugees in the UK and 37,453 people sought asylum in the UK in 2018.
The refugee unemployment rate in the UK is 18% (more than four times the general population). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation is now far worse than ever before.
Right now, more needs to be done to enable refugees to support themselves, their families and their livelihoods.
Sona Circle is a non-profit social enterprise based in the UK which connects refugees with local opportunities; enabling refugees and asylum seekers to develop their skills and gain employment to support their livelihoods.
By working with employers to create employment opportunities for refugees within their local communities, our model addresses the issues of education, labour force participation and social integration.
To date, Sona Circle has created over 100 opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers. We partner with over 30 refugee organisations in the UK whilst building a community of over 35,000 refugees and asylum seekers in the UK alongside mentors, volunteers, aid organisations and employers.
SonaTalks is a programme of volunteer-led talks, that brings people together to share worthwile conversations.
We created SonaTalks as a platform to showcase, learn and share the diverse, unique and enriching contributions of refugees, organisations and individuals working within their local communities.
“What an inspiring event to be involved with! I enjoyed all the different perspectives and range of topics from refugees and those working with refugees. Personally, it was an exciting challenge for a good cause and I’m so glad that I did it!”
– Jess Miller, The Bike Project