Preaching to the committed
All these people are working towards hosting and assisting refugees from Syria in West Wales as families and unsupported young people are brought into the UK over the coming months. Some have been involved with schemes to help asylum seekers already in Wales and still others have been working in the refugee camps in Calais and Greece. We all got together in Cardigan this evening to meet up and discuss progress and to listen to a couple of speakers. One was an eminent preacher who had just completed a consciousness- and fund-raising walk from Bethlehem to Egypt (140 miles - they are both places in Wales!), the other was this Syrian surgeon who described in recently-acquired English his experiences prior to escaping by sea to Europe and ending up in Cardiff. Ineligible to work he now volunteers at a refugee support agency. He spoke of the will to survive and to overcome traumatic experiences, not just his own but his patients', such as the 17 year boy whose hands and leg had to be amputated as a result of wounds sustained in the fighting but who learnt how to look after himself using his remaining foot and is still 'doing well'. Other who arrive less visibly wounded will overcome their experiences and respond positively to our welcome he assured us. Syrians are courageous and determined people.
It was an evening full of hope and some astonishment at the speed with which our efforts are taking shape.
I've tampered with the image a little in order to give the speaker a bit more prominence.