Right now, like so many households the world over, our families are doing their best to survive and thrive. Recent activities include (in individual homes) safely getting fresh air & sunshine by playing in the garden, splashing around in mini home paddling pools, and enjoying barbecues on the patio. The children are being creative with many lovely drawings, paintings and art projects going on, (more to follow on this… ).
Regular connection with the families continues through social media, What’s App, etc, and that good ‘ole fashioned method of communication over distance, yes, you remember – by talking on the phone!
And despite the current Covid19 restrictions, to support continued integration & feeling confident in UK life ‘English At Home’ activities for adults are being introduced from April 22. Anecdotally, (and not a usual practice), some Scottish poetry was emailed over to see if it could be understood. Now in my experience, that would be a challenge for most native English speakers (being half scots – I’m allowed to say such things. 😉)
Over Easter we (HDoS) delivered chocolate eggs to all the families with children, as a little reminder of the sweetness of life. We also arranged to send bunches of flowers to all the ladies (very beautiful they were – see below) with blossoms reminding us all that spring is in the air.
More generosity shows up day by day, with team at Resurrection Bites Cafés, (who pick-up excess food from local supermarkets to use in their by donation cafes) continuing collections but now instead boxing them up and delivering to the elderly and vulnerable in the community. They have now also included the refugee families in their deliveries. A big thank you for this to Michelle Hayes and all those involved. It’s amazing how people flexibly adapt to change, whilst thinking of others, in these times of need.
Ramadan & Other Covid19 Challenges For Refugees
Ramadan has just begun (23/24 April to 23/24 May), and for many Muslims this experience is likely to be quite different under ‘lockdown’ conditions. We note that helpful guidance on how to plan Ramadan activities during this time is being given (e.g. by the Muslim Council of Britain – https://mcb.org.uk/resources/ramadan/)
Many other challenges are showing up for refugees on limited budgets: The major reduction in face to face support, and related language & communication difficulties. Wifi access and data limits affecting the now vitally important sources of; social connection, financial & legal support, education of all and entertainment for children. Increased levels of anxiety felt everywhere adversely affecting mental health issues especially for those already-traumatised individuals & communities.
We can share that there is lots of work happening behind the scenes at Cities of Sanctuary groups all over the country to address these issues as best we can (more on this next time).
We welcome your support and assistance in these difficult times, so if there is anything you would like to offer, or if you have any questions please drop us a line at: [email protected]