We could all benefit from hearing some good news during the Coronavirus pandemic so I am so pleased to be able to share two uplifting stories from refugees.
Firstly some Syrian refugees settled in Surrey were delighted to receive a kind gift of several sewing machines recently, and they have been industriously making clothes for their families and friends. During the Coronavirus lockdown their council key worker encouraged them to make laundry bags for the NHS. They were really pleased to do this and said they were glad of the opportunity to “give something back”.
Secondly the refugees in Za’atari Camp, Jordan have been in a very secure lockdown and all outside humanitarian aid workers were not allowed to enter the camp. So the refugee volunteers in the Peace Oasis on the camp showed their resilience and innovation by organising themselves to deliver online training and education via video. This was difficult, they told me, as using the technology was a big learning curve for them and the internet signal on the camp is weak. Also not very many of the refugees have Smart phones or computers in their homes. But they managed to deliver online training for their sewing classes, IT work, and even Zumba classes and children’s education and games! So well done to everyone involved in keeping up this vital work!
Now the lockdown restrictions have eased and the aid workers allowed back in again so full programmes are running once more. These educational and pyscho-social classes are so important in building skills, confidence and wellbeing.
Teenagers love the music classes where they choose to sing Syrian songs to keep their culture and tradition alive.