NEW CHARITY HELPS REFUGEES INTEGRATE INTO NORTH WALES COMMUNITIES
Feb 26th 2021
A new North Wales charity is helping to turn around people's lives after they had to flee their own countries. They're now helping two young refugee women enrol on a nurse cadet scheme run by the Royal College of Nursing and Prince of Wales as well as introducing those who need it, to agencies who provide IT equipment for children to learn online during the pandemic.
The group, which is celebrating after recently being awarded charitable status, started life six months ago as a Facebook page aimed at allowing people within the settled community to offer their unwanted household items to refugees and asylum seekers in need.
The Facebook page, Refugee Kindness – North Wales, has now become an organization with around 20 volunteers supporting 45 families.
As a result of Refugee Kindness’ support, two young refugee women have been offered interviews to join the RCN and Prince of Wales nursing cadet scheme, three families have been referred for legal assistance to Asylum Justice, families have obtained IT equipment to aid online learning during the Coronavirus pandemic and they have provided families with thousands of household items, free of charge.
The Facebook page was established through the result of an idea that unexpectedly took off; it soon became apparent there was a clear need for the page.
Among the messages from people they supported was this - “I would love to thank each and everyone in this group for helping people who are in need. This means a lot for people like us. To make us feel we are still worth to live our life as everyone else and to have a place that looks like a real home. Thank you.”
Refugee Kindness - North Wales has operated on an entirely unfunded and voluntary basis. The organization aims to relieve poverty or financial hardship among refugees, asylum seekers and those who may be in equivalent need living in north Wales. They aim to provide goods and services that they could not otherwise afford, allowing them to still feel a part of society.
"Happy to be in Wales" - A member of the group.
Rachel Watkin, Chair of Trustees, said: “Refugees and asylum seekers in north Wales are at a significant disadvantage due to being on low incomes, often having language barriers, limited knowledge of the local area, not having permission to work and having been displaced from their homes. As such, they start from nothing upon arrival in the UK and need to acquire the items and local knowledge necessary to live a better life."
“Refugee Kindness - North Wales enables members of the public to advertise household items as available and free of charge, specifically for those in need through an online platform. We will then facilitate the delivery of the items to the recipient members.”
Through the donation of items, liaison officers of Refugee Kindness - North Wales form lasting friendships with members of the page and support them through other areas of life, this may be from attending meetings with those who do not fully understand due to language barriers, to introducing them to supporting bodies who may be of assistance.
Rachel added: "Refugee Kindness - North Wales is entirely not for profit; the charity works through the goodness of the volunteers and organization’s members hearts.
"As a result of connecting with families, simply to provide household goods, a support network has been formed with families, which Refugee Kindness - North Wales has been supporting in relation to immigration claims, housing matters, education and training.
"A Father Christmas delivery was also completed to 82 children to ensure they had a brilliant Christmas too."
If you would like to read a moving and heartfelt testimonial from one of the many refugees Refugee Kindness - North Wales has helped, please click here.