Guy Whitmarsh, chairman of Ludlow branch of AIUK, says let us continue to support refugees (From Ludlow Advertiser)
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Guy Whitmarsh, chairman of Ludlow branch of AIUK, says let us continue to support refugees
8:00am Thursday 21st June 2012 in Letters
Refugee Week is celebrated once every 52 weeks (in about the same proportion as refugees to the total number of immigrants), to remind us of the hospitality we offer to refugees and of the contribution that refugees make to our life in the UK.
When there are floods, as last week in mid-Wales, or a fire, neighbours and even complete strangers offer support and sustenance to those who have been forced out of their homes. How much more to be celebrated then is the hospitality we offer to those refugees who have fled the terror of killings, extra-judicial beatings and illegal imprisonment, to seek refuge in safer havens?
Not only have these refugees frequently lost all their belongings, but also their family, their roots and their culture. Despite this, they have in many cases contributed greatly to the life of the UK, in the world of sport, literature, music, science and even politics.
To my personal knowledge, a young refugee who 10 years ago was spat upon in buses in Birmingham has managed to rebuild her life and is now training to become a dentist. There are many similar examples of refugees being supported so they are later able to regain their human dignity.
Let us continue to welcome and support refugees, to understand a little of what they have gone through, and help them to rebuild their lives, for the benefit of all; rather than ignoring or being hostile to such seekers of asylum, let us wonder at their ability to survive and to nevertheless try to rebuild their lives.
You may have noticed collecting tins in Ludlow bars, and posters around the town for a folk concert in aid of Amnesty International, to be held at Ludlow Brewery on June 22nd, at the end of Refugee Week. We are grateful to all the Ludlow businesses sponsoring the event and to all those who have already supported us via the collecting boxes.
GUY WHITMARSH (chairman, Ludlow branch of AIUK), Richards Castle