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MAY 2020: COVID-19 STORIES

RSD Resettlement Coordinator Souad Fadel set a task to all the women who received a sewing machine donated to them by RSD. She asked them to sew masks for their families and send us photos of the results. We would like to share some of them here.

Suhair said: I made these masks for my family using a shopping bag I brought with me from Turkey.

Suhair 5

Neama said: I don’t have a sewing machine but I have good crochet skills so I made crochet masks for my family.

Neama1

Ghaliya said: my children were excited when I was sewing the masks for my family. They were sitting next to me watching and when I was finished they wore the masks at home.

Ghaliya 3

Douha said : I have good experience with sewing as I was working at a clothes factory when I was in Lebanon. I made masks for my family.

Douha1

Our thanks to all the ladies who made masks, and to their children who modelled them. Thanks also to Souad for setting them this task and for sharing their photos!

APRIL 2020: COVID-19 STORIES

 

The Coronavirus crisis has affected everyone and RSD is no exception. Below are two stories, one by Neli Montes De Oca, RSD’s Casework Coordinator, explaining how she is keeping RSD’s drop-in service running even though she is currently working from home: and the second is from Nourah, one of RSD’s clients, who has been helping a neighbour infected with Coronavirus.

Neli:

Neli working remotely

Working from home has been a new experience for me. I am lucky enough to have enough space in the house to set-up a work station, either from our little spare room or from the conservatory with a view to our garden, as shown in the photo. Unfortunately not all the people we support are in the same situation, but from our little corner I feel proud to announce that we’re still very active providing support to those that that are in need, at the same time as we continue following Public Health guidance of social distancing, washing hands, etc. 

Some of the things we have done in the last 4 weeks include but are not limited to : providing 4 clients with weekly Emergency Fund; some shopping for a family of 4, and even helping a client moving out from their current house because they’re facing homelessness. All this couldn’t have been done without the support of our volunteers.

We have also worked well alongside other organisations to ensure we minimise direct contact with other people when other services are offering support. Exeter Communities Together have been facilitating lovely food to some of our clients and delivering to their homes for free.

Finally, for the first time in RSD history, we held a volunteer drop-in meeting and immigration team meeting online. Both of the meetings went very well, attendance was 100% for the first time too. I have to make a small confession, this was the first time I coordinated and facilitated an online meeting. Initially I was not very good at sharing my screen to the rest of the team, but the second meeting I managed to do it straight away, hurray!  The wonders of technology when you know how to use it.

I would like to finish this with a short quote from my favourite writer Eduardo Galeano: “Diagnosis of Civilization: Somewhere in a jungle someone made the following remark: How strange are civilized people. Everybody has watches but nobody has time”

Nourah:

In this strange time with the Covid-19 pandemic I believe we  should help and support one another. My senior neighbour who lives by herself got infected by the corona virus so she isolated herself in her house with no one to look after her.  Every day I sent her a hot meal and asked her if she needed anything to support her. One day my children were in our backyard; I asked my children to be quiet so they wouldn’t disturb or annoy my neighbour but she talked to me over the fence and told me to allow my children to make as much noise as they wanted since it made her feel less lonely and as if she had company with her. My neighbour has safely recovered from the corona virus but I still communicate with her through our fence because I don’t want her to feel lonely and I’m still sending her sweet and savoury dishes which she enjoys a lot thankfully.

 These are some photos of the food that I have cooked and sent to her:

Nourah food 2

Nourah food 1

 

 

 

 

We thank Neli and Nourah and we hope you find their stories inspiring. If you have a similar story that you would like us to share on this website please contact us by e-mailing info@refugeesupportdevon.org.uk .

 

ENGLISH LESSONS IN NEWTON ABBOT – FREE FOR ALL REFUGEES

Newton Abbot Class Nov 2019

 

 

Please pass information about these classes to anyone you think might wish to attend them – many thanks

Make October 3rd the European Day of Memory and Welcome!

You might be interested in signing the following petition, which calls to make 3 October the European Day of Memory and Welcome:

 

RSD ACHIEVES OISC LEVEL 1 ACCREDITATION – July 6th 2018

3161BB10-A90C-4BB1-B099-6AAB0E73597BIn June 2018 RSD’s Casework Coordinator, Neli Montes De Oca, and three drop-in volunteers – Alex Goodman, Suzy Aburagheb and Tony Griffin (pictured with Neli) – passed the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) examination, with the result that RSD has been awarded Level One accreditation. The 3.5 hour exam – which was taken in London – was in two parts, a multiple-choice section and an exercise in which a letter had to be drafted, outlining the possible routes a client might access to remain in the UK. Both sections needed to be completed successfully and the pass-mark was 65%.

OISC is an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Home Office which regulates immigration advisers, ensuring they are fit and competent and act in the best interest of their clients. Level One OISC accreditation allows Neli and her colleagues to provide basic advice, including giving help with completing certificates for travel to clients granted humanitarian protection or discretionary leave; making applications to vary conditions for people without recourse to public funds; assisting with applications for leave to remain and with the ten-year route for indefinite leave to remain; and registration of a child as a British Citizen.

As a result of this accreditation Neli and her colleagues will be offering advice clinics every Thursday between 12:30 and 14:30 in the Exeter Community Centre, probably in a new office as the usual drop-in service between 14:00 and 16:00 will continue to run. Depending on demand and the availability of funds these hours may be extended. In the meantime, Neli will be in contact with other organisations which provide immigration advice to discuss how RSD might work with them.

Neli would like to acknowledge the assistance given by Refugee Action, who provided five full days of webinar-based training, answered questions, checked writing exercises and gave information about the OISC registration process. Without their support, Neli says, she and her colleagues would probably not have completed the process successfully.

Our warmest congratulations to Neli, Suzy, Alex, and Tony on this wonderful achievement!

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