Celebrate refugees' contribution to Newport - Red Cross

3:10pm Sunday 17th June 2012

THERE are currently around 65 refugees being supported in Newport, who come from countries like Sudan, Turkey, Somalia, Iraq and China.

To mark Refugee Week, the British Red Cross is urging people to celebrate the positive contribution these bring to Gwent.

The Red Cross helps these asylum seekers leave areas where there are wars or civil unrest and settle into UK life.

Its work includes projects to help people find out about life in the place they are living, as well as volunteering and learning opportunities which may lead to employment.

It runs English classes at Bradbury House, Mission Court, where 40 women take part and there is a creche used by 25 children.

One of the people it supports is Findik Savda, 36, who says she had to flee her native Turkey because of discrimination against her as an ethnic Kurd.

She arrived in the UK with hardly any English, but lessons in Newport have helped her greatly.

"Things are looking good for me now," she said. "If I can learn more English then hopefully I can get a job, I would like to work in a nursing home or perhaps with older children."

Refugee and migration support services coordinator Theresa Mgadzah Jones called the free classes "a stepping stone" that is helping women gain confidence and transforming their lives here.

There are also workshops here to help women improve their employment chances and better understand the labour market.

The destitution service provides emergency support including supermarket vouchers, small food parcels and clothing vouchers to use in Red Cross shops.

There is also a mother and toddler group in Newport, called Rhyme and Time, which aims to familiarise children of refugees with the English language and common nursery rhymes before they start nursery.

Refugee Week is a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events from June 18 to 24, which celebrates the contribution refugees make to life in the UK and encourages better understanding between and within communities.


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