If you’ve taken more than a glance at your takeaway coffee this week, you may have noticed something unusual printed on the cup.
Participating cafes are replacing their regular coffee cups with ones featuring an image of a young asylum seeker, Layla. Although she’s an imaginary character, Layla embodies the very real struggles of people seeking asylum all over the world. She also represents the journeys of the refugees who have helped shape Australia.
In sharing a #CoffeeWithLayla, people are encouraged to place themselves in the position of a person seeking asylum. To ask; “What would I do to protect myself and my family?”
You can share images of your coffee cup with the hashtag, and visit Road to Refuge’s website to become part of a campaign to raise awareness about the struggles faced by refugees and asylum seekers.
Project co-ordinator James Hickey says though it’s a relatively simple concept, encouraging people to educate themselves and providing them with the means to do so shouldn’t be underestimated.
“Creating opportunities for more informed, dynamic discussions is immeasurable,” he says.
Seven Seeds employee Jennifer Jones says the campaign is about humanising the issue and showing it’s about more than just numbers.
“It’s about bringing that conversation to people’s daily life and giving people the opportunity to see the real story. It’s a hot topic in Australia anyway, and we see it in mainstream media, but this puts it into your daily routine. People need a story to follow, and that’s why Layla is stamped on the cups,” she says.
#CoffeeWithLayla will run during Refugee Week from June 19 to 25. A full list of participating cafes can be found here. You can trace Layla’s journey from leaving her home in Tehran, Iran on the Road to Refuge website.