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Write a welcome for refugees.

Byline: HELEDD PRITCHARD Reporter heledd.pritchard@walesonline.co.uk

PEOPLE are being encouraged to write letters of welcome to refugees in a bid to make them feel safe when they arrive.

To celebrate Refugee Week charity Oxfam Cymru is launching a Waleswide initiative and is calling on the public to give a warm welcome to new arrivals.

As part of its wider Stand as One campaign, which calls on world leaders to agree on a global response to the refugee crisis, the charity wants to make sure Wales plays its part by resettling its fair share of refugees and offering a warm welcome to families when they arrive here, making Wales a "nation of sanctuary".

The current global refugee crisis has prompted the biggest humanitarian response in the charity's history and last year it provided humanitarian aid to almost nine million people.

The hope is that welcoming letters will go some way in making newlyarrived refugees in Wales feel safe and welcome.

Kirsty Davies-Warner, head of Oxfam Cymru, said: "Writing a letter of welcome is a simple but powerful act of friendship.

"You can write a letter at home and post it at your local Oxfam shop, write it at the shop on our Nation of Sanctuary postcards, or send an email to oxfamcymru@oxfam.org.uk.

"However you choose to write your message you can be sure that your words of welcome could have real impact on families arriving in Wales.

"These are some of the world's most vulnerable people - families who had no choice but to flee, their homes have been destroyed and their lives torn apart.

"Write a letter today and help us make Wales a nation of sanctuary."

Solomon, who arrived in Wales from Eritrea nine months ago, supports the idea and said that while he has found people in Wales very friendly a letter on arrival would have made a difference.

Alemayehu, from Ethiopia, arrived in Swansea with his family two years ago and added: "It would have been very nice for my children to see messages from local children saying hello and that we are welcome and coming to a safe and friendly place."

CAPTION(S):

A boy waits for distribution of aid at the migrant camp in Idomeni, Greece. Above, Oxfam Cymru is urging people to send welcome letters to refugees

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 23, 2016
Words:388
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