Our History

AFRIL was born in 2006 thanks to the initiative of Iolanda Chirico, who realised the lack of services and support for refugees in Lewisham Borough.

Since then, AFRIL has helped hundreds of refugees and their families. Throughout our history we have contributed to their integration into the community, supporting the building of their basic skills and capacities. We also provide advice and emergency supplies to better enable our users to settle and adapt; making the best of their new life and opportunities.

Our history of helping refugees help themselves

We don’t stop there. At AFRIL our mission is to provide the support and services to enable refugees to help themselves. We enable them to develop new skills which are integral to a life in the UK in order to help them rebuild their lives. Our users can learn English in our ESOL classes, or get involved in community events. We also help refugees to build skills for jobs through volunteering with AFRIL. We start from a young age. Families with children are welcome to attend our Saturday morning Rainbow Club which teaches children to interact with people from other backgrounds, learn English and much more.