A group of students at Bradford based Dixons City Academy recently held a welcome event for around 60 Syrian refugees.
Students at the school were affected by the Syrian crisis where more than 6 million Syrians (according to World Vision) have been displaced due to a violent civil war. The students wanted to help with the humanitarian crisis and started fund raising.
Within a few weeks, they managed to collect clothes, blankets and other household items, along with around £1,000 from sales of items, such as doughnuts. Ihsan Ahmed who was one of the students organising the event told Asian Sunday:
“We were affected by the Syrian crisis and wanted to do something to help. Our initial plan was to arrange a collection of clothes and to take them down to Calais and distribute them. However, we later learnt that things were not organised in Calais and that our items would perhaps go to waste, so we decided to host a welcome event for the refugees who had moved to Bradford recently instead. We wanted to use this opportunity to gift them the items donated and make them feel welcome in our city.
“We bought stationery for the children and household items, such as plant pots for the adults. It was a great event and it was so good to see our teachers, local businesses and local leaders come and support us.”
The students hosted the event working alongside Horton Housing, a group that has helped house refugees in Bradford. The event was attended by thirty other guests, which included teachers, the Lord Mayor of Bradford and boxer Tasif Khan, who said it was a great event organised by the students themselves and a great cause making everyone feel welcome.
Principle of Dixons City Academy, Shirley Watson added to that. She said ‘’The event is one of the best organised by school students in the school’s history’’
Sir Nick Weller, who is the Head of the Dixons Academy Group, echoed this and said ‘’I am proud of what the students have achieved and hope this inspires other youngsters to follow the humanitarian spirit shown by the youngsters’’
One of the teachers who helped the school organise the event, Asma Laher said, ‘’We are delighted to have been able to hold this event’’
Ihsan and the students who put the event together were overwhelmed by the support from local businesses and wanted to thank each and every one of them who helped. He concluded by saying, “This event has truly been a success and from what the Syrian refugees have told us and the smiles on their faces, they have enjoyed it immensely.”
“The highlight for me, was when one of the refugees came up to me and said to me that they didn’t think the people of UK would be this kind to them, and we are like a second family to them.’’