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Press Release - Stories from across the world

2010-06-08 13:00:00

A unique project telling the amazing personal stories of more than a dozen Birmingham folk who came to settle in the city from across the globe will go on tour from next month.

?Birmingham is Our Home? features photographs and interviews with about a dozen people about moving to the city from places as diverse as China, Somalia, St Kitts, Bangladesh, Poland, Iraq and Pakistan.

The travelling exhibition will be launched in the City during Refugee Week June 14-19th and will tour venues until early 2011. A dedicated website is also being set up.

The project focuses on people?s own personal stories and explores how immigration has enhanced social and economic fabric of the city and made it one of the most culturally diverse in the country.

?Birmingham is Our Home? has been organised by Birmingham Social Housing Partnership (BSHP) and also illustrates the work housing associations have done in helping to create safe and settled communities here.

David Cusack, Chief Executive of Moseley & District Housing Association, said: ?Birmingham Social Housing Partnership wanted to raise awareness of the positive impact migration has had on Birmingham for more than 40 years.

?This amazing exhibition will show through first-hand accounts how people have contributed to the city and been largely welcomed by the people of Birmingham.

?It also shows the crucial role social housing landlords and Birmingham City Council housing department have in providing quality homes to ensure people feel safe and secure in our neighbourhoods.?

Mashkura, who is 32 and living in Perry Barr, originally came from Bangladesh and was eventually housed by Midland Heart. She said: ?Birmingham is Our Home gave me the opportunity to share my family?s experience of living here after migrating from Bangladesh.

?More importantly, it allowed me to explain what I love about Birmingham; one of the most multi cultural cities in Europe. It?s vital that through opportunities such as this we share the positives and celebrate our diversity.?

Councillor John Lines, Cabinet Member for Housing at Birmingham City Council said, ?Birmingham has always been a safe haven for refugees fleeing persecution.

?Large numbers of refugees settled in this city following the Second World War and I am proud of the role the people of Birmingham played in ensuring their safety and making them feel at home. These people have added to the prosperity of the city and become true Brummies, and long may this continue.?

www.birminghamisourhome.org.uk is live on June 18, 2010.

The project has been jointly funded by a £10,000 Big Lottery Fund grant and contributions from BSHP. It is also supported by Birmingham City Council. The photographs have been taken by well-know local photographer Roy Peters from Moseley.

BSHP brings together housing associations to ensure a strategic approach to housing and provide a forum for sharing of ideas, issues and Best Practice, as well as a co-ordinated forum for discussion with Birmingham City Council and the National Housing Federation regionally.

The Big Lottery Fund distributes half of the National Lottery good cause funding across the UK. The Fund aims to enable others to make real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need.

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