Syrian refugee living in Rugby 'loves Britain and its people'

Sylvie Summer, a volunteer at Welcome Here Rugby with Naela Hamza.
Sylvie Summer, a volunteer at Welcome Here Rugby with Naela Hamza.

A celebration day was held last week to welcome the Syrian refugee families relocated in Warwickshire and to thank the volunteers and organisations involved in their resettlement.

The event, which was held at Old Shire Hall in Warwick on July 25, saw representatives from 24 refugee families attend as well as a number of organisations involved in the Syrian resettlement programme.

The first group of refugees arrived in Warwickshire in November 2016 and have since been arriving quarterly.

Five families, made up of nine adults and nine children, have been relocated to the Rugby area. Leamington, Stratford and Nuneaton also have five families each.

During the day people heard from volunteer groups and organisations involved in supporting and helping the families and also heard some of the families’ stories.

Naela Hamza, who moved to Rugby with her daughter in August 2017, told her story.

She explained how following her husband’s death she went to the United Nations for help. She said it took eight months but the UN helped her get to the UK with her daughter.

Reflecting on when she first arrived, she said: “After arriving in Britain I found it difficult to deal with people and to go out of the house. But it was the beginning of my new life and I started to feel safe and have thoughts about the future.”

Naela continue: “I do not know how to thank the four volunteers who helped me at the beginning. The support worker had a big role in helping me with a lot of things.

Now I love Britain; I love its people – they are good and quiet. They love being active and have respect for each other. I like living in Rugby and have found friends, so has my daughter.”

More Syrian refugee families are set to arrive in the county quarterly. The new families arriving are due to be settled in Rugby and Stratford.

Sylvie Summer, a volunteer at Welcome Here Rugby, said: “We have been helping all the resettled families in Rugby.

“There is a huge amount of good work in Rugby and we just try to be good friends and help in whatever way we can.

“But we urgently need more volunteers and we are calling for anyone who can speak Arabic to come forward.”

To get in touch email: sylvie@sylviasummer.net