UNHCR and TEDxStockholm launch Refugee Speakers Programme to help amplify refugee voices and give nuance to the narrative of persons with refugee background.
Every person has a story to tell. There are as many different stories of refugees in Sweden as there are storytellers, but often we hear only a fraction of the narrative.
To help strengthen and amplify refugee voices – and with the ambition of these important stories reaching the broader Swedish public – UNHCR’s Representation for the Nordic and Baltic Countries in January launched the Refugee Speakers Programme in cooperation with TEDxStockholm.
With the Refugees Speakers Programme, UNHCR and TEDxStockholm aim to give nuance to the narrative of persons with refugee background. The programme is the first of its kind to be launched by UNHCR in Sweden and seeks to provide opportunities for aspiring public speakers with refugee background.
During the spring of 2022, five young people from Somalia, Afghanistan, Iran, and Syria – selected from an open-call application process – will receive training in public speaking skills and individual coaching by volunteers from TEDxStockholm, preparing them for sharing their personal stories about fleeing and building a new life in Sweden.
“I hope to find an effective way to raise the voice of the voiceless,” says Faiaz, one of the participants. Another participant expresses that, “I hope to improve my skills and make my voice heard. I’m human, not just a number”.
In June, the five participants will take what they have learned during the programme and share their stories with the broader public.