Read for Refugees: Sunflower Challenge




Welcome to the Read for Refugees Sunflower Challenge!  

After ten million people have had to leave their homes in Ukraine, we are asking students to raise money for UK for UNHCR by getting sponsored to read as much they can.

The overall aim is to keep children reading and do something positive in the face of tragedy.

You can participate as an individual or as a school (check out our Information For Schools page).

Schools, please REGISTER HERE if you'd like to take part so that we have a list of participants and can keep you updated with the latest news and materials.

Individuals can donate here.


Watch the video below and enter our competition! Guess the name of the 14 famous children's writers featured in the video below and enter your guesses for the chance to win fantastic prizes. These include a virtual author visit from Chris Bradford (worth £150!), a personalised caricature from illustrator Sue Cheung, copies of the Carnegie shortlist, a six-month subscription to Parrot Street Book Club and more!

The competition is FREE for all to enter, but a suggested donation of £2 towards UK for UNHCR on our JustGiving page would be very gratefully received and will go towards supporting refugees worldwide.



We are encouraging children – either through their schools or individuals – to participate in sponsored reads – our Just Giving page remains open. 

Children could ask for sponsors to agree to donate based on number of pages, chapters, or books read, per half hour or hour spent reading outside of school, or just make a flat donation to encourage participating readers.  


This project will encourage children to read more widely outside of school and help them to take positive action in scary times. Readers can direct those who make pledges to our JustGiving page, where all funds will be donated to UK for UNHCR.

Download our black and white picture of a sunflower with ten petals herethen colour in a petal for each donation. You or your school can then display your ‘completed’ sunflowers to represent the money you have raised to support refugees in need.  

Looking for ideas on what to read? SLA members can download our short booklist of Ukrainian children's books for use in both primary and secondary that celebrate Ukrainian culture by logging in and visiting our Members' Benefits page.

Social media
We’d love to see your pictures and hear your encouragement for all our readers for refugees! Please share your sunflowers, favourite reads, and spread the world on social media with the hashtag #ReadForRefugees  


Did you catch us on BBC Radio Surrey? Catch up and listen here!

For motivation, watch this video by Somali-British writer Warsan Shire.

Video credit:
Kate Neilan, Marketing Executive, Vintage

Get inspired...

Some titles to inspire you to #ReadForRefugeesaccompanied by the extraordinary 'Home' by Warsan Shire.

Watch this short film inspired by Elizabeth Laird’s refugee story, Welcome to Nowhere, and Shaun Tan’s wordless graphic novel, The Arrival, made by this year’s TBSA creative response winner Nico Lagarejo.

The team were excited and honoured to learn that the new Gatwitch Hub at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya - which includes a library! - wanted to reference the #ReadForRefugees project and so painted a sunflower on their welcoming sign. Support is being felt around the world! Read more about the project here, and see the sign being painted and installed here.


Unable to participate in a sponsored read, but still want to support the project? No problem! 

Donate here on our JustGiving page.