Words for Welcome Refugee Poem

Reading Time: 2 minutes


Words for Welcome Refugee Poem


World Refugee Day takes place on the 20th of June every year. Leading up to this special day, Words for Welcome established a campaign #RefugeeVoice #IAmListening, where one refugee story was shared every day. To conclude this campaign, the team launched the Creatives Competition, which encouraged students globally to write, using these stories as inspiration.

Words for Welcome is a student project based in Cheltenham, which aims to raise awareness of the refugee crisis while also humanising this issue, by sharing the stories of individuals.

“We were very elated to receive many entries, showing us overwhelming engagement and support for refugee rights. After reading them all, we would like to announce the results.

Congratulations Martha Davies from Cheltenham for being the winner of the Words for Welcome Creatives Competition! Martha wrote a moving poem in the point of view of a baby, who was delivered by Dr Saleema Rehman – one of the inspiring figures that Words for Welcome covered in our #RefugeeVoices campaign. “

“I didn’t know your name” conveys how our fabric of humanity is held together by our love for each other; it cannot be torn apart by the differences of where we come from. It is a beautiful reminder of how refugees contribute greatly to our lives and deserve so much more appreciation than the global community gives.

It is very clear that Martha has felt impacted and inspired by Dr Rehman but beyond that, there is an overwhelming message of overcoming boundaries and divisions with the juxtaposition of both stories. This is a beautiful poem and we commend Martha for the raw emotion and the poignant message that you have taken from reading about these inspiring people. Thank you.

Read Martha’s poem below.

I didn’t know your name
By Martha Davey; inspired by Dr Saleema Rehman

I was born into a blue sky,
To strong and welcoming hands.
Into deep cots and pale blankets so I never felt the wind.

But it was your hands, who lifted me
To show me the shape of the clouds.
You placed me in my cot,
Pulled up the sheets to make me warm.

And I don’t understand

How you could give me so much
When the world was so unforgiving
To your first breath.

You were born to a desperate place,
To people who can’t feel the ground for running.
Made you stumble to the mercy of half-blinded politicians.

But you still came.

Showing me the stars you never saw
Giving me a mother like yours

I’m sorry
I was just a child
I didn’t know your name

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