Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Scotland welcomes refugees - message from International chair and secretary

As a plane of Syrian refugees is about to land in Glasgow today Sam Macartney, Chair of the International Committee and I wanted to tell you about what members of the International Committee heard from Robina Qureshi, Director of Positive Action in Housing on Saturday.

Robina advised us of the links her organisation had made with the Kempson family who live on the island of Lesvos in Greece where a huge proportion of the refuges trying to reach mainland Europe arrive first. The Kempson family have found themselves on the fronyt line of helping thjousands of refugees and PAIH are supporting them in challenging the large aid agencies over the inadequacy of their action so far on Lesvos. Robina was able to tell us on Saturday this action is beginning to have some impact on the NGOs. The plight of refugees is stark and we were reminded how many perish in the attempt to reach safety.

PAIH have set up schemes whereby individuals can register to house refugees; volunteer to assist and donate money that is guaranteed to get to the front line.

The videos we saw contain some harrowing images and testimony but clearly illustrate the issues refuges face and the need to support practical assistance on the ground.

We, Scotland, Britain and NGOs can all do more. We wanted to write to you today to say that if your Branch does want to do some work on the refugee issue we would ask you to consider hooking up with PAIH. Your branch may also want to affiliate to PAIH.

If you want to see the videos we’ve posted links below.

Thanks for your time,

Simon Macfarlane & Sam Macartney



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