In September and October of 2015, at the height of the refugee crisis, I joined Doctors of the World — Greece as an administrative volunteer, helping out at a reception camp in Lesbos. At this time the island, with a population of 86,000, was receiving up to 9,000 asylum seekers a day, who were crossing the narrow Mytilini Strait from the Turkish coast. Three years later I was on an extended six-month stay in the southwest German town of Kaiserslautern, north of Karlsruhe, which has 100,000 people. Here I saw first hand how volunteers and professionals are working to integrate refugees. I also listened to heartbreaking stories from people who had lost family members and had nothing but were trying to rebuild their lives. The decision that changed Germany I was in the Germany where, on August 31st, 2015, Chancellor Angela Merkel had said: "We can do this,” declaring on prime time TV that it was “her damned duty” to keep the borders open to an influx of people … [Read more...] about ‘Here I am a human being’: How Kaiserslautern continues to integrate refugees
Best charity to help syrian refugees
All Alaa Eddin Karnabeh wanted was for his family to be safe. The 37-year-old fled Syria with his wife and children six years ago when their lives were made unbearable by civil war. Their journey was long, difficult and dangerous, but finally, in Bristol, they have found peace and safety - and Mr Karnabeh couldn’t be more grateful. Mr Karnabeh and his family entered the UK under the Government’s Vulnerable Persons’ Resettlement Scheme, which takes refugees who have fled to Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan or Turkey, and Bristol’s approach to helping resettle the world’s “displaced persons” has been highlighted in a global report. From the family’s new home in Easton, he recounted their painful departure from Damascus in 2012 and their search for sanctuary which led them through Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, the Sudan and finally, in desperation, to the door of the United Nations. With the help of an Arabic interpreter, Mr Karnabeh explained his … [Read more...] about Syrian family finds sanctuary in Bristol after six-year search for safety
A few miles from the Syrian border in Lebanon, the Beqaa valley is lined with olive groves, vineyards and pomegranate trees. Amid the orchards lie large encampments of white canvas. Up close, these are the homes of tens of thousands of Syrians waiting to restart their lives, somehow and somewhere. The picturesque surroundings stand in stark contradiction to their tattered tents and desperate lives. Unsurprisingly, the news of the arrival of two Germans last May aroused much curiosity among the resident refugees. It is hard to overstate the positive image Germany has held in the mind of Syrians in recent years: admiration for German efficiency, prosperity and welfare systems is combined with awareness of its generosity towards the displaced, symbolised by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s admission of hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing across Europe three years ago. The two Germans were carrying video cameras and filming the camp – even if they themselves seemed … [Read more...] about ConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlight What is a German alt-right organisation doing in Lebanon’s Syrian refugee camps?
European Union leaders agreed Thursday to enter talks with Egypt to help stem the flow of migrants entering Europe from Africa, offering to step up economic cooperation and the prospect of a high-profile summit in Cairo as incentives. Speaking to reporters after hosting talks between EU leaders in Salzburg, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said "we've agreed on in-depth cooperation on issues such as migration, but also economic cooperation with Egypt." "We've got to ensure that as few people as possible leave northern African countries for Europe. If they do, the situation should be dealt with as close to the African coast as possible," Kurz said. Kurz, whose country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, and EU Council President Donald Tusk visited Cairo over the weekend for talks with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, a top army general who took office in 2014. Both men have praised him for stopping people from leaving its coast bound for Europe. "Egypt is efficient. Egypt … [Read more...] about EU looks to Egypt, Africa for help with migrant challenge
Teams from organisations across Cheshire that support homeless people and people suffering with mental health issues took part in a charity football tournament. The Barry Whitham Memorial Cup took place at Goals Soccer Centre in Chester. ForViva Group were crowned the winners of the tournament. The Memorial Cup, which is in its ninth year, is named after popular hostel resident Barry Whitham who died in 2008, aged 23. The teams that took part included Cheshire West and Chester Council, Bridge Foyer, Your Housing Group, Chester Aid to the Homeless, Forum Housing Association, Cheshire Police, ForViva Group, forfutures, CAIS Drug and Alcohol Service, Syrian Refugee Team, and Chester FC Mental Health and Wellbeing. ForViva Group entered two teams, Team A and Team B, with Team A crowned the winners of the tournament. Toria Buzza, who is wellbeing lead for Cheshire West, coordinated the ForViva Group teams and played on Team B, said: “ForViva were really proud to participate in such a … [Read more...] about Chester soccer centre hosts charity football tournament