'From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded' (Luke 12: 48)
I support what you are doing and I really want to help! What can I do?
Well - this project is now (October 2020) one year old. The main thing you can do to help now is to make friends with the Arafehs if you are able (see Contacts page), help them to obtain suitable employment, and support further work in the wider community to aid those left homeless and desperate through the tragic events in the Middle East.
But we have left here the list of things included in our original website, as an indication of those items we needed help with. Some of these still apply. Some do no longer, but may still apply to other groups working with refugees.
First - please watch this short video clip: vimeo.com/349846099
So - there are many things you can do to help! While you are reading this you can also listen to a contemplative piece of music by the Israeli musician Yuval Ron. He works with Jewish, Christian and Muslim musicians and campaigns for peace particularly in the Middle East. The YouTube link is below.
- We are Christians. We believe that a project of this nature cannot be accomplished without the direct help of our blessed Lord. So more than anything else we need prayer, prayer and more prayer!
- Can you offer financial support by either a) one-off donations; b) donations by a regular standing-order? For a one-off donation please see the Donations page. For a standing-order please contact your bank and also Mary Manners at Cathedral House.
- Could you help raise funds, by e.g. sponsorship projects, events, sales etc. etc.?
- Do you have a rental property that might be suitable, or know someone who does or might do? For more details see our Accommodation page. Stop Press: We have now obtained some super accommodation for our first family. But if we are able eventually to house more than one family then we shall be looking, of course, for more than one suitable place to live.
- Do you have any experience and abilities that would be useful to us in getting a residential property into a suitable condition (painting, electrics, etc.)?
- Do you have any suitable items of furniture, carpets, crockery, kettles, a cooker and other bits and pieces that may be needed for furnishing? Do you have somewhere where we could store such things until they are needed?
- Do you have links with the local Middle Eastern (particularly Syrian) community, a mosque (although there is no guarantee that our family will be Muslim), etc.?
- Would you be able to join a transport rota in case transport were needed for the first few weeks after arrival?
- Do you have any ability in a relevant language, particularly Arabic, and if Arabic what type of Arabic and at what level? Could you act as an intepreter, write signs in Arabic and so on?
- When our family arrives, could you offer time to be with them helping them, making friends and being a named contact person – perhaps initially by joining a 24/7 rota – and helping them negotiate the shops and Bristol, and/or giving them informal English language practice or taking them to environments where they can practise their English, or helping them to fill in forms or attend e.g. benefit meetings or doctors’ appointments
- Do you have experience in teaching English or TEFL/ESOL training that they could make available to us, or links or contacts with local ESOL courses, particularly courses that lead to qualifications?
- Do you have any experience we can draw on, for example in working with refugees and asylum seekers, or experience of the benefit system, the employment system, education – both school applications and system and particularly English as a foreign language – the NHS (either practising or recently retired health-professionals), helping children and/or adults with e.g. PTSD and stress-related conditions, etc.?
- If required, would you be able to offer basic training for employment, e.g. in IT, for example, or helping them construct their cv. etc.? If so, what sort of training/employment?
- Best of all, might you be in a position to offer appropriate paid employment to one or more members of our family, either part-time or full-time, either straight away or at a date to be determined? Even if you cannot, might you be able to offer some unpaid voluntary work that would help in language acquisition, contact with local people and improve cv.s? January 2020 update: This item is now particularly central to our work with the Arafeh family.
- Would you be willing to offer childcare if necessary to our family while their parents attended meetings, language classes etc.?
- Could you offer administrative help – with record-keeping, monitoring, evaluation, following correct legal requirements (data-protection, ensuring proper documentation and its storage etc.?
- Would you be able to recruit more supporters for this project?
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