EU Resettlement Network

SHARE Resettlement Ambassador helps give refugees a voice in the UK - a report from Refugee Action...

SHARE Resettlement Ambassadors are involved in many different activities and initiatives in their national contexts.  Below we hear from the UK NGO and SHARE Network partner Refugee Action about the role of UK SHARE Resettlement Ambassador Abdi Khalif in their new Refugee Voices project.

To find out more about Abdi's experiences of resettlement, read his interview on the Refugee Voices webpages....

'The UK’s SHARE Resettlement Ambassador, Abdi Khalif, was recently asked to speak at the launch of Refugee Voices, a new project led by Refugee Action that aims to give refugees a bigger voice in local and national issues.

Refugee Voices brings together resettled Gateway refugees from the North West of England, and provides training and support to enable them to participate in local, regional and national discussions on topics they identify as particularly important to them.

Opportunities will be provided to project participants to attend local stakeholder meetings, to meet with their local political representatives and to speak at a range of public events. By providing stories and evidence gathered by and about resettled refugees themselves, it is hoped that participants will be able to contribute to changes that will benefit current and future resettled refugees in the UK, as well as enhancing their own personal skills and self-confidence.

Abdi Khalif, a previously resettled refugee, delivered a presentation at the launch event about his active role supporting other resettled refugees in the North West of England as a founding member of the Gateway Support Group, a community group he founded in 2011. He provided many examples of how the Group’s interventions have brought about positive outcomes for its members.

His commitment and activism in this role led to Abdi being selected as a SHARE Resettlement Ambassador. He also spoke about this role as one example of how refugees can have a voice at the local, European and international levels. Questions from the participants demonstrated how Abdi’s enthusiasm and dedication to helping other refugees in the UK and elsewhere had helped inspire them to want to do more to help one another.  Abdi commented that the Refugee Voices project can be a vehicle for members to ‘advocate for refugees and empower them to integrate.’

Submitted by UK NGO and SHARE Network partner Refugee Action (May 2015)