PAPER boats containing facts about refugees have been placed at random locations to raise awareness about the crisis.

Leytonstone is the latest area to play host to the project and boats can be found at public places such as cafes, parks and train stations.

The displays are part of a joint exhibition, titled Another Crossing, by photojournalist Giovanna Del Sarto and artist Bern O’Donoghue.

Mrs Del Sarto, who is originally from Northern Italy and has lived in Leytonstone for eight years, took polaroids of migrants arriving in Greece because she wanted to give something back.

The 46-year-old said: “Last October I went to Greece to volunteer with a charity.

“I took photos of the refugees as they were arriving in dinghies and this is how the project was born.

“They were happy when I said I can take a picture of you and you can keep it. Some of them have never seen a polaroid before.

“They can look back on it and remember the time when they arrived.

“They are coming through a long journey. These people would rather be in their own country and they need a safe place to stay.

“We want more people to be aware of the cause of the refugees.”

As well as photos of newly-arrived refugees, the exhibition features paper boats handmade by Mrs O’Donoghue.

Facts about the refugee crisis are written on the paper boats, such as ‘one in four refugees is a Syrian’ and ‘developing countries host 86 per cent of the world’s refugees’.

So far, 8,000 paper boats have been translated into seven languages and spread around the world.

The artist from Brighton said she decided to create the boats after she heard politicians using negative language to describe refugees arriving in Europe.

She said: “The reason why I started making the boats is because I was really concerned about the language that politicians were using to describe the refugee crisis.

“David Cameron described the refugees as a ‘swarm’ and Philip Hammond said refugees from Africa ran the risk of destabilising the European economy.

“I heard people in my area parroting these things and I felt there was an emboldening of prejudice.

“The reason I do it is threefold. To challenge prejudice and give information, encourage people to get involved in the project and to let people who are on the receiving end of prejudice know that not everyone is against them.”

Mrs Del Sarto’s project, A Polaroid for a Refugee, and Mrs O’Donoghue’s project, Refugees Crossing, together form the exhibition at Murmurations Gallery in Bexhill-on-Sea as part of ROOT 1066 Festival.

The women have also put together a newspaper about the refugee crisis which is on sale for £3 and profits go to CERST charity working with refugees in Chios Island in Greece.

To find out how to buy a copy go to