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1st Jul, 2022

Finding hope and peace in Redditch: Syrian refugees say thank you

Correspondent 10th Aug, 2019

A SYRIAN refugee has thanked the people of Worcestershire for helping her family find peace and happiness.

Amani is one of 100 Syrian refugees that have been offered a new start in the county under the government’s Syrian Resettlement Programme.

Redditch accepted five families fleeing from war and strife in their own country.

Speaking about her experiences, she said: “I came from a devastated and wounded country carrying in my memory a lot of pain and fear.

“When I arrived in the UK, I was happy, but I quickly felt lonely.

“I was surprised at everything – my life, my house, the language, my boys and their schools.

“It is hard to change your life, but I felt I changed it to the best. It is strange to feel lonely and miss your family.

“In that time, I didn’t make friends because I didn’t speak English well.

She added: “In the first year, Refugee Action helped us to deal with our issues then we become better after we start learning English and involved with English community.

“Today, I can speak English, I work in good job, my boys are doing well in school, my husband has got a job.

“We found stability and we passed all the difficulties to start our life again in safety and peaceful country.

“I would like to thank Worcestershire County Council because they supported us until we settled and they still work hard to help us and all the refugees to get a good living in the UK.”

Councillor Lucy Hodgson (Con, Malvern Chase) Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Communities, said: “Since June 2016 we have provided refuge to 26 families previously living in refugee camps or homes close to the border after fleeing the war in Syria.

“Families identified under the government programme are some of the most vulnerable people affected by the conflict. This includes women and children at risk and survivors of violence and torture, and we are proud to have played our part in housing those families that have been affected by the Syrian conflict.

“Government funding has enabled us to ensure we have the right infrastructure in place to support arriving refugees. We also remain grateful to the support provided by volunteer groups across the county who are helping families to become independent and self-reliant and be happy in their new lives in Worcestershire.”

The Syrian Resettlement Programme is a five-year government programme that pledged to resettle 20,000 refugees in in the UK by 2020.

Leaders of Worcestershire County, Bromsgrove District, Malvern Hills District, Redditch Borough, Worcester City, Wychavon District and Wyre Forest District Councils pledged to resettle up 100 refugees in total since 2016 and with the latest family, who arrived earlier this month, have now fulfilled that commitment.


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