Circuit Refugee News Update Summer 2019

Refugees became a major concern to us about four years ago when the news was full of the numbers of people who had died trying to find a safe place to live.

We had read about the bombings, torture and starvation that these people were running from.  We just were not sure where to begin to help.  Sherborne Churches Together were the ones that kick started us and through a meeting that they called we met many others that wanted to help. 

Since that time we have helped in camps in Calais on a number of occasions. Cheap Street Church has become an important collection point for donations and the items given are now sent all over Europe via RAFT in Taunton.  We have set up a charity specifically to help Refugees that are resettled locally. That charity is called SHARES. Sherborne Area Refugee Support.

At the moment SHARES supports 4 families that are in the Sherborne area.  We offer practical help as well as befriending the families. Many of us teach them English. We also help with transport and often ferry them to appointments with doctors, dentists, schools etc.

We get awfully involved with the families and the difficulties that they go through.  Many times we have shared their tears and heartbreak. We have learned how Families are really important in Syrian life. Several generations will live together and If there is a crisis family are there to support one another.  Now the parents are back in Syria or perhaps in a refugee camp in another country.  Recently, we have heard of brothers or other family that have been killed fighting in Syria. Our volunteers have been vital in comforting those that have been bereaved.

When a new family arrives from Syria They spend the first year learning English.  Now most are speaking quite good English AND have passed their driving tests. Could you imagine trying to take a written driving test in Arabic?!

The children have settled well into their schools and their English is remarkable.

There is now pressure to get work.  The men have suffered a loss of confidence in the whole process and we need prayer around this and practical support in the way of job mentoring etc. If they get work some are hoping to find bigger homes. 

Cheap Street Congregation continue to be amazing with their support for the work of collecting and distributing.  Several people regularly give, receive donations, sort, drive, and just welcome to people to the church who also want to give.  One of our congregation has even allowed us to store donations in his ‘shed’ until we get them distributed.

SHARES are always on the lookout for more properties.   At the moment 16 families have been resettled throughout Dorset.  Two new families are being resettled in the next three months – one in a house we have found in Sherborne.

 We are continually overwhelmed by people’s generosity.  And should not be surprised at the offers of furnishings that have already come in for the new family.  We will need a few volunteers to support this new family – though this time many of the already settled families will be involved too.

Four Years!  So much has happened.  So many ups and downs.  The downs sometimes pull US down – but then we remember that God never promised us that it would be easy but He did say he would be with us at all times.


 Printable Version
News Update February 2019
Update February 2019

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