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Haddenham Syrian Family Project

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On Wednesday 14th November over 100 local residents attended a talk, hosted by the Village Society, on the Syrian Family Community Sponsorship Scheme.

Tim Finch, from Citizens UK, gave the background to this:

  • the horrific civil war in Syria with the destruction we are all too familiar with
    the huge numbers of refugees in neighbouring countries
  • the Government commitment to allow 20,000 Syrians in to the country, and
  • the initiative to try to meet that target — the Community Sponsorship Scheme, based on the successful Canadian scheme

We heard from two people (from London and Princes Risborough) who spoke of the experience of their communities with the scheme — the highs and lows; the difficulties and achievements.

So where are we in Haddenham?

A large group of supporters has met twice since July (and is about to meet a third time — on Tuesday 27th November, 7.30pm in the Baptist classroom). So far, much of the work has been about gaining support in the wider community and discussing how to build on a Haddenham tradition of supporting refugees dating back to WW1. People have been in contact with schools, with the Job Centre, looked in to the availability of English classes, and thinking of ways of fundraising, considering medical needs (physical and mental).

Next steps

* We need to start a major fundraising campaign. We have to raise at least £4500 per adult — so £9000 for an average family;

* We need to find a suitable house at an affordable rent;

* We have to complete the paperwork for the Home Office;

* We need to identify a sponsor (this has to be a charity, and has legal responsibility, but would not be expected to raise the money).

If you are interested in finding out more, or joining us, please contact Alison Watt at hsfamilyproject@hotmail.com

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