Shambhala Refugee Project

What are we doing?

The worldwide refugee crisis, and the ongoing situation with Syria in particular, is something which many of us witness with horror, despair, and a strong feeling of ‘How can I help?’

Members of Shambhala London are involved in the government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement (SVPR) Scheme. Under this scheme, a family from one of the refugee camps around Syria is identified for resettlement within the UK.

As a community, we have undertaken to identify and secure a suitable property to be used for the resettlement of a Syrian family, and to support the family when they arrive.

 

What is involved?

We are looking for a 2-3 (ideally 3) bed rental property in Lambeth (which must have its own front door – i.e. not a shared property) and liaising with the landlord and the local authority to ensure it is appropriate for the purpose – if necessary also providing practical support and resources in order to do so. We will provide a warm and friendly welcome to the family from the moment they arrive, and ongoing social support to them, to ensure they feel comfortable and familiar with, and integrated within, their local community.

 

How can you help?

We are hoping that the wider Shambhala community will support our efforts in one of the following ways:

  • Property. Currently, the priority is to identify a landlord with a suitable property to rent (ideally in Lambeth or Southwark) who is willing to do so for this purpose. Ideally they will commit to renting the property to the family for a minimum of 12 months. So, if you are, or know of, a landlord who may be able to help, please do get in touch. Alternatively, let us know if you would like to play a part in our co-ordinated search for a property.
  • Funds. We anticipate that some contribution towards the rent will be needed. There may also be additional items to buy – such as furniture and crockery. We need:

(i) help with a fundraising appeal (ii) Any financial contribution you feel inspired to offer.

  • People. Our greatest strengths as a community are our compassion, and the diversity of talents, skills and experience we collectively possess. We will welcome all offers of time and skills – this can be interpreted in any number of ways (e.g. to help prepare the accommodation (once secured) for the family’s arrival; to help the family get to know and feel a part of their local community.

 

If you would like to be involved with this project, or have any thoughts, suggestions or questions, please e-mail refugeeproject@shambhala.org.uk