Category: Refugee services

“They gave my family a future”: how the Red Cross helped reunite one Syrian family

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Hussin Zahra and family

How bad would things have to get before you chose to leave your town, your village?

Hussin’s family waited until the gunfire carried on right through the night.

After a horrendous journey in a boat across the Mediterranean, the Red Cross has helped Hussin reunite with his family in Birmingham.

As the family’s story features on the BBC this week, find out how they were reunited against the odds.

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Refugee writers face the ultimate test: peek behind the scenes at Hay festival

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Theresa Mgadzah Jones with two of her class

You’ll no doubt have heard about the Europe refugee crisis almost every day for months now. But among the daily news headlines the voices of those who have fled conflict and persecution can be lost – especially the voices of women.

Today is different. Ten women will be sharing their personal stories at the Hay Literary Festival in Hay-on-Wye.

These women all have a different story to tell. They have found their voices and formed a strong support group at the free English lessons provided by the British Red Cross in Newport.

Now they are putting their English to the test –performing in front of a festival crowd.

Don’t have tickets to Hay? Here is an exclusive sneak peak of what they have come to share.

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“I will keep trying and I will break free”: One refugee artist’s long journey back to her easel

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drawing of weeping eye

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” 

This famous line of Picasso’s resonates with Mays Al Ameer more than most.

Her passion for drawing, indeed her whole childhood, was cut short when her family were taken hostage in Iraq.

Now settled in Poole, she is part of a Red Cross art group designed to encourage community ties and a sense of belonging.

We meet her at an exhibition of her work at the Poole Lighthouse to hear about what brought her to the south coast, as well as her hopes for the future. More

Bringing up a baby in a car: how our asylum system is failing families

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Red Cross volunteer speaks to Dilipa

Before the war life was good for Dilipa. She loves her country – the weather, the fresh produce, the lifestyle.

But after 2000, hostilities between the government and Tamil separatists increased. Life for ordinary Tamils in Sri Lanka became more and more difficult.

Members of Dilipa’s family were questioned and even tortured. They would get arrested for small things such as not having an ID card on them.

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Letters from a crisis: ‘how can this be happening in the EU?’

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grandmother and child
Ever wondered what it’s really like to work in an emergency?

Gwen Wilson has seen it all. After retiring as a nurse, she worked in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis. Now Gwen has swapped her life in Sheffield for a refugee camp in northern Greece.

Writing to you from Thessalonica, Gwen gives her reflections on supporting refugees in Greece.

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Letters from a crisis: wind, rain and wheelie bin rides

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Have you ever ridden a wheelie-bin in a roaring gale?

Gwen Wilson has seen it all. After retiring as a nurse, she worked in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis. Now Gwen has swapped her life in Sheffield for a refugee camp in northern Greece.

Writing to you from Thessalonica, Gwen gives her reflections on supporting refugees in Greece.

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