The Sanctuary Foundation, a charity that provides support for refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, has teamed up with churches and community groups in an effort to make this festive season even happier for those far from home.
During the month of December, the foundation will offer 2,000 refugees and asylum seekers an invitation to a Christmas party in their local area. Parties will be held in forty locations, including craft events, children’s parties, and banquets where there will be songs, games, and drama.
“With all the negative rhetoric surrounding our public life about immigration and asylum, we hear from many of our newcomer friends that they feel less than welcome in our country. We want to make amends that is by inviting you to the party!” said Doctor Krish Kandiah, founder and director of the Sanctuary Foundation.
“We are delighted to be working with community groups and churches in the UK who, every week, do incredible work supporting refugees and asylum seekers.”
Major businesses such as Jude’s Ice Cream, Tetley, Britvic, Holland and Barrett, Plaids, and KP have shown their support for the initiative, and their joint desire to provide a warm welcome to those who have to flee conflict and other tragedy, by donating products for events.
For many refugees from Ukraine, this will mark their second Christmas celebrated away from home, diminishing the importance of this practical manifestation of their Christian message that underpins the festive season.
“We hope this festive season will help newcomers to the UK know that many of us are grateful they are here and we will do everything we can to support them,” Dr Kandiah said.
The Sanctuary Foundation, which operates in several countries, provided more than 4,000 refugees and asylum seekers with gift boxes at Christmas and Easter last year as part of its ongoing work to provide support for refugees and aid those who can find houses, jobs and well-being.