Helping to rehome refugees

This story came from our community newspaper. Click here to read the full newspaper.

Imagine having to flee your homeland due to war and persecution. Imagine arriving in a strange country, with little or no language, few possessions and for some alone. Imagine having absolutely nothing.

Our Catrefi Hafod team specialise in providing temporary homes for homeless families and individuals who are often facing extreme hardship both financially and personally. Working in partnership with Caerphilly and Bridgend councils, the team have supported 20 Syrian and Afghan families in these areas to provide safe homes in new communities.

Our leasing officers, Ruth and Neil, have helped to furnish homes, support housing and welfare applications and offer information on how to seek help and supported with a smooth transition.

The pandemic made this displacement a hugely challenging time with the restrictions imposed to help contain the virus making it increasingly difficult for people to reach safety. Resettlement too was affected and those that were able to be resettled found that the integration processes was slowed.

Displaced People in Action (DPIA) was formed in 2000 and has since then offered crucial services to asylum seekers and refugees in Wales. Currently DPIA continues to support the Afghan Relocation Scheme and Syrian Resettlement projects.

While the media tend to focus on the brutalities and harsh journeys of those fleeing, DPIA focusses on supporting assimilation and integration to ensure opportunities for education, sport and being part of a community.

I hope we never have to do more than imagine what this process must be like, but hopefully Cartrefi Hafod can continue to support and help displaced people while our understanding continues to grow with each experience of survival as remarkable as it is tragic.