'I found Restore like a shelter for people like me...'
It was a great privilege to be one of the speakers at the Global Partner Support launch Sunday and share about Restore's work with refugees - people who have fled persecution. I used three items to illustrate our work:
• A suitcase as people are on the move and leaving a lot behind;
• Hands and ears for welcoming, helping and listening to refugees; and
• A Lampedusa cross - a symbol of sacrifice, loss, healing and hope.
Befriending is a simple idea of introducing a volunteer from Birmingham to an isolated refugee or asylum seeker to offer welcome, friendship, help with conversational English and assistance with understanding life in Birmingham. Volunteers journey with their befriendee through the ups and downs of the processes refugees encounter on the path towards rebuilding their lives and integration into a new culture. What is the impact? One refugee said: “Restore has enabled me to confidently integrate myself into the community. I found Restore like a shelter for people like me, who are lost in this world.” Please pray for the volunteers who are on our current training course which started on 21st May.
It was great to take a group of 20 refugee men to experience the Birmingham Passion Play. The freedoms we have here in the UK meant that some people could encounter the Easter story for the first time.
Please pray for me in my new role as Restore Manager as I work with our Management Committee on a new strategic plan, and seek new sources of funding to continue our current work and to restart our employability training. Part of my role involves networking with other agencies to work for change in the systems that affect refugees.