Forth Valley Charity Gets Ready To Help Afghan Refugees Coming To Stirling Amid Taliban Crisis – Todayuknews – Todayuknews

A Forth Valley-based charity which supports refugees settling into the region is preparing to welcome Afghan families fleeing from the Taliban.
Some families from Afghanistan have already arrived in Stirling in recent months but charity Forth Valley Welcome say they expect to support more as the country faces a humanitarian crisis.
The war-torn nation was thrown into further turmoil this week when Taliban fighters took over the country, prompting desperate scenes as Afghans piled into the airport in the capital Kabul searching for an escape route.
It has prompted questions over the role of the UK in accepting refugees fleeing the volatile situation, with Scottish ministers outlining support for accepting Afghans over recent days.
According to information released by Stirling Council in May, a total of 11 families were living in Stirling under the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Programme having escaped violence in Syria and Sudan.
The local effort was part of 20,000 families who were displaced by the scheme across the UK since its inception in 2005 – with ten per cent in Scotland.
As part of the efforts to help those coming to the region for a new life, charity Forth Valley Welcome works alongside Stirling Council to provide refugees with the resources and support they need.
Rebecca Dadge, project coordinator and volunteer for FVW, says they have already been working with the first Afghan families as they settle in Stirling – and is expecting more to arrive in the coming weeks and months.
She said: “The council does a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of identifying suitable properties and getting access to health and education and we work closely with them to help those arriving with what they need.
“We go into the property and ‘dress’ it ahead of the family’s arrival and try to make it look more ‘homey’ and then we usually get a phone call with what else they need – that can be boots and coats for our weather or even a home visitor to help them with the local area and provide a friendly face.
“The biggest challenge here is learning the language and that is the thing that most struggle with, as well as the culture which is extremely different from back home.
“A lot of the Syrians and Sudanese we have supported have also experienced trauma and lived in refugee camps where horrible things have happened to them, although we’re not sure whether there will be different circumstances with the Afghan families.
“Even if they have managed to get out themselves easily, most will still have relatives there and so that has a big impact on them and keeping in touch with family back home can be one of the main things.”
For many refugees, being able to escape the dangers posed back home provides the greatest hurdle, but the pressures posed by having to settle in unfamiliar surroundings can soon strike, making the role of organisations such as FVW so valuable.
The organisation operates with a small team of two part-time members of staff plus a network of 75 volunteers – and Rebecca says the role of schools and other groups such as churches in welcoming newcomers to the community can prove invaluable.
She added: “We often find that they are quite euphoric when they arrive because they are in a safe space and do quite well to start with, then they hit a bit of a wall and realise the challenge of becoming self-dependent here.

“We don’t want to make assumptions, but we’re hopeful the Afghan families will do quite well because they appear to be quite well educated and speak English, but we might get different families from different parts of the country, so it’s all down to personal circumstances.
“Just imagine taking 3,000 Scots and taking them to Kabul or Syria, some would do fine and others would not.
“It’s hard not to talk about people as a group, but people are completely different.
“We’ve got such a fantastic team and they have been totally amazing so we’re very lucky.”
If you wish to volunteer or help out FVW’s team, then you can contact [email protected]

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