Statement from Southwest Immigration Alliance

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18 Mar 2022

Laura: a volunteer's story

Laura volunteered to support a new family just before the pandemic struck. She campaigned for four years with a dozen other supporters to resettle a family in their town. Their amazing perseverance eventually paid off – and a family complete with their luggage, an oud and a sazfinally arrived to a very warm welcome. These are her musings:

The lockdown (which happened within days of the familys arrival) brought the local support network into action — there were regular meetings on Zoom with an Arabic translator; an RSD volunteer English teacher worked weekly with the parents; and someone found the family an allotment to help ease them into life in a Devon market town. When we were allowed to meet in a park, we brought food and drink and listened to Mohamad singing and playing Kurdish music on his oud. And later, we also heard him playing on his saz. The family has had to be patient, resilient and resourceful over the last year. Now that life is opening up, theyre beginning to flourish.

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