Refugees thank town for such a warm welcome
Syrian families express their gratitude
The two Syrian refugee families who came to Rutherglen last year have thanked the people of the Burgh for welcoming them into the area.
Speaking to the council’s own free publication, The Reporter, family members expressed their gratitude to the local community.
The Reformer was given an exclusive first look at the interview with the parents, all of whom wished to remain anonymous.
One female, known only as ‘R’, said: “People here are smiling every time and they help us.
“People here are very good. All people in Rutherglen are good, friendly and helpful.
“Every time, they smile and say ‘hi’. Our neighbours are very nice and they gave us Christmas cards.
“We are happy here. Happy and safe, especially for the children. They like school very much and they learn English, numbers, the colours, about the body. They make friends and they play too.”
Both families spent years of discomfort in a Lebanese refugee camp before being flown to Scotland in December.
They were the first of 60 refugees expected to be housed in South Lanarkshire.
Describing the situation back in the middle eastern country, R said: “Before the war life was good in Syria.
“It was very nice before the conflict. But then it turned bad.”
R’s husband, ‘A’, added: “We had to leave and went to Lebanon.
“We lived with many other families in a shared building.
“It was very bad, as you need a lot of money to live, for a room and to shop. But you are not allowed to work, and if work, very little money.”
The families have been settled within a short walk of one another and four of the five children are enrolled at a local primary school and nursery.
While they are still getting used to the country, they have enjoyed a number of excursions, including taking in Rutherglen Town Hall.
When asked if there’s anything they don’t like, R laughs: “The rain. Every time - rain, rain, rain!”
Andrea Sinclair, who has been working with the two families in her role as the council’s Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement advisor, said: “Working with them over the past few months has been extremely satisfying but also incredibly humbling.
“The resilience that the families have, first of all leaving everything behind in Syria, living within a refugee camp and finally having the strength to move to a country where the language, culture and environment is totally different, shows that they are strong people who have the courage to move where required for the sake of their family.”
Council leader, Eddie McAvoy added: “We expect a total of 12 to 15 families, around 60 people in total, will come to South Lanarkshire in the next year.
“Housing associations will be involved in helping us house the refugees, and I am sure they will all receive a good Scots welcome in their new communities.”
The full interview will be in the next edition of the Reporter.
We are happy here. Happy and safe, especially for the children
Warm welcome Refugees based in Lanarkshire enjoyed a recent welcome event at the Lanarkshire Muslim Welfare Society