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Opera Making a Difference: Arias to welcome Lambeth refugees

Marie Soulier, in association with Church of the Holy Spirit, Clapham

Sunday, 1 October 2017 from 16:30 to 18:30 (BST)

Opera Making a Difference: Arias to welcome Lambeth...

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Sales End 1 Oct 2017
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Concession - under 18 - state benefits - state pension
51 Tickets £9.00 +£0.00 Fee
Donation to welcome refugees to Lambeth
Sales End 2 Oct 2017
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Event Details

Arias from the great operas sung by Alberto Sousa (tenor), Ricardo Panela (baritone), Susana Gaspar (soprano) and Felicity Buckland (mezzo-soprano) accompanied by Kelvin Lim. 


A message from Revd Ruth Burge-Thomas, vicar

After the concert enjoy the legendary middle eastern hospitality and sample delicious middle and near eastern food from Syria and elsewhere. Wine and other drinks will be available before and after the concert. Donations welcome!

The project we are fundraising for is called Refugees Welcome Lambeth which came about because a group of churches, mosques, a synagogue and a couple of schools locally worked with a community organizing group called Citizens UK to persuade the council to take some of the Syrian refugee families that the government had promised we would accept. Lambeth agreed to take 23 families but they cannot provide housing. 

The Un Refugee agency pays rent for 5 years and the council provides two years of support (finding schools gps advise on benefits some English language classes etc).

Our biggest issue is finding private landlords who are prepared to rent to the families at the UN Refugee resettlement program rates which are lower than market rates. So the first step in bringing a family to the UK is to find a property. 

Once we have one we need to get it ready – often we have a work party to clear the garden, move in furniture – we ask for donations for things not provided by Lambeth such as TV toys rugs microwaves bedding etc.

When the families arrive (mainly Syrian a few Iraqi and mainly from camps in the Jordan or Turkey) we befriend them, get them involved in local events, help them with speaking English, find out what needs they have in terms of bikes for kids, help with extra tuition for children who have not been in school for years.

We also work to campaign for the resettlement of unaccompanied minors – this is more of a campaigning project but really needed. 

So our families are AMAZING some have no English at all, they come from very distressing situations, a number have children with disabilities (as they are prioritized in resettlement).  They have just two years of official support before they are expected to be completely independent and integrated (apart from rent which is covered for 5 years under the UN program).  Many want jobs and an education: we have trained mechanics, carpenters, bakers, teachers, a university chemistry lecturer.    


Do you have questions about Opera Making a Difference: Arias to welcome Lambeth refugees? Contact Marie Soulier, in association with Church of the Holy Spirit, Clapham

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When & Where

Church of the Holy Spirit
Narbonne Avenue
SW4 9JU London
United Kingdom

Sunday, 1 October 2017 from 16:30 to 18:30 (BST)

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Marie Soulier, in association with Church of the Holy Spirit, Clapham

Long time local resident Marie Soulier ran the Clapham Opera Festival for a number of years. It was in fashion that Marie’s passion for supporting young talent began, with 20 years as a model manager and agent, collaborating with the likes of Models 1 & Ford Models. Marie also runs Opera Pour Un Salon, offering recitals in private homes & special events for companies. She has organised more than 20 home recitals with over 500 people enjoying these intimate events.  The young artists themselves have enjoyed the experience too, daunted by the challenge of performing so close to an audience, yet exhilarated by the warmth and energy extended by everyone in front of them. 

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Opera Making a Difference: Arias to welcome Lambeth refugees
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