This Refugee Week, Migrant Help brings you Bags of Hope, a two-metre structure of towering backpacks symbolising the hopes and dreams carried by displaced people as they journey from their home countries in search of safety.

It brings to life the people behind the statistics, with over 30 luggage tags on the backpacks revealing the objects that symbolise the journey, present situation or hopes for the future of displaced or trafficked people.

Created by the artist Sophie Cunningham, the structure aims to provoke reflection and encourage empathy towards refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK.

The powerful art installation is free to the public and will be displayed at London South Bank Riverside West for three days, from Tuesday 20 until 4pm on Thursday 22 June 2023.

Macbis Maldonado, 32, who is seeking asylum in the UK after political persecution in her home country of Honduras, said:

Some people think that we come her because we want to live off the government, but that’s not the case. I just want to live a normal life and feel safe. My son has his hopes and dreams and I do too. Everybody should be granted that right – to build a life again.

Macbis’ hope, of once again having a home that she could cook in, is represented on her ‘Bag of Hope’ by a saucepan.

Bags of Hope also marks Migrant Help’s milestone 60th anniversary year. Since 1963, we have been supporting and protecting people affected by displacement and exploitation, helping them thrive as individuals and recover from their trauma.