Refugees welcomed

Syrian refugee Zaki was welcomed to Knaresborough Rotary Club recently as a guest speaker, together with Jenny Travena, the founder of the Harrogate District of Sanctuary group.

Photo shows, left to right, Knaresborough Rotarian Bob Weddall, Syrian refugee Zaki, Jenny Travena, Knaresborough Rotary Club President Jim Moorhouse.

Rotarians welcome refugee

Syrian refugee Zaki was welcomed to Knaresborough Rotary Club recently as a guest speaker, together with Jenny Travena, the founder of the Harrogate District of Sanctuary group.

Jenny told the Rotarians and guests that, “Harrogate District of Sanctuary was formed in November 2016, following the arrival of several families of Syrian Refugees into the area. The group is part of the national City of Sanctuary network, committed to creating a culture of welcome and safety, especially for refugees and asylum seekers who are seeking sanctuary from war and persecution. HDS exists to raise awareness locally and join with other City of Sanctuary groups regionally in order to make asylum seekers and refugees feel safe, welcome and included in our society. Refugees have a lot to offer and a desire to contribute, we want to release that potential for the good of all”.

Zaki and his family came to Harrogate in November 2016 and have all been busy learning English. He told the Rotarians that in Syria he had worked in the building trade and is keen to get work here, but needs to improve his English so in the meantime is looking for volunteering opportunities. He and his family are grateful for the warm welcome they have received in the District.

Anyone who would like to learn more about Harrogate District of Sanctuary can contact Jenny Travena by e-mail jtravena@hotmail.co.uk or can find their page under Groups at https://cityofsanctuary.org