The kind place: We are VOICES
The second in The kind place series, our award-winning podcast episodes are produced by refugees and people seeking asylum. They share first-hand stories about life in the UK and speak up for change as part of our Every Refugee Matters campaign.
About 'We are VOICES'
We are VOICES is an award-winning, co-produced podcast series made by the VOICES Network.
It's also the second series of our kind place podcast, which builds understanding and empathy through stories of lived experience.
Through a series of remote workshops, the 12 refugees and asylum seekers involved learned about creative storytelling, scripting, interviewing and sound design.
As new podcast producers, they’ve developed the creative skills to tell their own stories, with complete control over the narrative.
VOICES is part of our Every Refugee Matters campaign. As the government overhauls the asylum system, there's never been a more important time to listen to the experiences of people who have experienced it first-hand.
We're calling for a more compassionate way to treat refugees in the UK.
Conversations that connect
Over the six part series, we'll meet Diamond from Iraq, Niloha from Venezuela and Alvina from Zimbabwe among others.
We'll be hearing about the challenges they face – from loneliness to family and home life, the right to be able to work and mental health.
The podcast has been made by ambassadors from our VOICES network, which sees refugees and asylum seekers speak out about the issues that affect them.
Watch an introduction to the people behind We are VOICES right here.
Episode 1: Small heavens
When you face a tragedy, it's not the end.- Diamond, creative producer
How do you find connection and support when you’ve left everything behind, and your freedom is restricted?
In Episode 1, we meet Diamond and Rima. Diamond explores her dream of true love, a safe home and freedom through her love of animals.
Episode 2: Every step on the ground
We found ourselves between home and survival.Nihola, creative producer and podcast participant.
What does is mean to flee from your home and face a dangerous journey to safety?
In Episode 2, Niloha is interviewed by Annie. Niloha shares how she was forced to leave Venezuela and her life as a doctor, in search of safety in the UK.
You'll also hear how the government's proposed Borders Bill would change how asylum seeker's claims are judged, and reduce protection for people seeking safety in the UK.
Episode 3: I dreamt I saw her
But there is no hope to see her. It feels like forever.Mada, a podcast participant from Syria
How do you support your family when the system is keeping you apart?
A single mother living in Glasgow, Alvina Chibhamu, investigates how families are affected by the asylum system.
She interviews Mada, a refugee from Syria, about caring for her children through the family reunion process. Alvina also talks with policy expert Sohini who explains how the proposed Borders Bill will threaten safe routes to family reunion in the UK.
Episode 4: A ticked box somewhere
It's scary to be transplanted from where you are, to a new environment.Annie, podcast participant
This episode was produced by Saffie. Additional production on interviews from Zaina Aljumma.
**Trigger warning: this episode mentions suicide.**
What does it mean to have a roof over your head as an asylum seeker?
Saffie explores ideas around home, safety and belonging in this episode looking at the housing system for asylum seekers in the UK.
We hear from Annie about the problems she and her teen daughter have faced in accommodation, as well as policy expert Jon Featonby on why the system is failing.
We also hear from Omar about his experience living in Penally Barracks, a repurposed military site that has since been closed down after it was deemed unsuitable to live in.
Episode 5: Start
You don't know how people struggle — like if you put the life of an asylum seeker into a game, people are going to crash.Ngozi, participant and co-producer
You can explore Episode 5 on YouTube through a dedicated playlist. Navigate through the 10 levels via the playlist on the right hand side of your screen.
Welcome to Episode 5, where you are the asylum seeker.
This episode is interactive and has been released as 10 separate clips or ‘levels’.
You will be presented with dilemmas and given options to choose from. Based on what you choose, you will be directed to the next level to listen to.
All the situations and dilemmas presented to you are based on real events that the producers have experienced in their daily lives.
You will be guided through the episode by Carlos and Ngozi and hear from many other members of the We Are VOICES team.
Are you ready to begin?
Episode 6: The why child
What do you know about asylum seekers? What don't you know? Can I help you out?Zain Hafeez host of episode 6
In Episode 6, Zain
You'll also hear from other members of the We Are VOICES team on how the asylum system and harmful stereotypes limit their potential and erode their sense of self.
We are VOICES was made in collaboration with the British Red Cross and Bridey Addison-Child. The senior producers are Bridey Addison-Child and Jude Shapiro.
The VOICES Network and other British Red Cross programmes that support refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK are possible thanks to funds raised by players of People's Postcode Lottery. The funding is awarded by Postcode International Trust.