Herts Welcomes Refugees

Who we are

Herts Welcomes Refugees is set up to welcome and support Refugees and Asylum seekers in Hertfordshire. We started supporting families in 2016 who came on the Government resettlement scheme, mainly from Syria. Now this has widened to other nationalities and in the last two years has involved the Afghan families who were evacuated. We now also support Asylum seekers in hotel accommodation.

Our project

Arabic School

The Arabic school was initially set up as a request from the Syrian families who wanted their children to be able to read and write Arabic as well as speak it so they could communicate with extended family and also be able to read the Koran. It was very different from other schools that taught only Islamic studies. I this the teachers had to speak Arabic and the children needed to understand it.

All the children must speak Arabic or their parents must. The school was also an opportunity for initially the Syrian refugee woman to develop new skills. This has continued but it now widened in terms of the nationalities working with the school. The school has been led by the Syrian HWR trustee. There are now 7 teachers/ teaching assistants. There are now three Syrians, one from Afghanistan and one Palestinian, Algerian and Moroccan. The school runs on Saturday mornings now for three hours, again at the request of the parents and the children The numbers have grown and there are now 70 children across four classes.

The COSARAF Foundation has supported the cost of the school accommodation and the volunteer teachers. There are no paid teachers at the school. The children follow an Arabic curriculum at four different levels and basic Islamic Studies. The feedback from the children is very positive shown by the regular attendance and the popularity of the school has grown shown by the waiting list.

Testimonial

“The children are really happy at this school because they learn reading and writing, and some Arabic traditions¬†and they have Arab friends who speak Arabic with them.”