Groundbreaking refugee programme extended

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SRC award means New Scots Holiday programme will run until the end of the year

14th September 2020 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

A groundbreaking project that has helped transform the lives of refugees seeking sanctuary in Scotland has been extended by three months.

The New Scots Holiday programme, which enables Church of Scotland congregations to provide hospitality and friendship to people who have fled conflict zones, was due to finish on 30 September, when a £130,000 funding package awarded by the European Union in 2018 runs out.

However, the project has now been extended to 31 December thanks to a grant from the Scottish Refugee Council (SRC).

The programme is part of the Scotland-wide New Scots Integration Project, run in partnership with the SRC, WEA Scotland and The Bridges Programmes, which also provides tailored advice and support to individual refugees and families as they rebuild their lives.

Coordinated by Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees, a multi-faith partnership project hosted by the Church of Scotland, New Scots Holidays provides opportunities to build friendships across cultures and introduce people to new experiences beyond their local community.

Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees coordinator, David Bradwell, said: “The church’s need and commitment to engage in multi-cultural and multi-faith dialogue, and be a light and example in this world has become even more evident.

“We are delighted to have received this extension and would like to thank the Scottish Refugee Council for their generosity and continued partnership and support for the church’s work with refugees.

“Welcoming the stranger and showing hospitality and the hand of friendship are at the heart of the Christian message. At times of crisis, racial injustice and political hard-heartedness, it is more important than ever that we recommit to our values of love and hope.”

Sabir Zazai, SRC chief executive officer, said faith communities have always played an important role in welcoming refugees.

“This project allowed the opportunity to bring together our experiences with the faith values of hospitality to build bridges across differences but most importantly nurture our longstanding legacy of offering sanctuary to those who need our protection,” he added.

“I do hope we can build on this great example of partnership working to make our communities more welcoming for those seeking sanctuary in these rather unprecedented times.”