ASHA’s Christmas Appeal
ASHA started organising a Christmas Party for the children of refugees and asylum seekers eight years ago. This event gives refugees and asylum seeker children the opportunity to experience something special following very distressing times that they may have faced.
Following the first party, one young boy excitedly explained that now he would now have something to talk about when his school teacher asked “And what did you do at Christmas?”.
It is an especially bleak time for families in exile from their home, their families, their community and their country. One parent mentioned that her children were asking for a Christmas tree. She had looked for one but the price was way outside her means. There was a depth of sadness in her which for a moment she could not disguise. This event allows for families to have that, if only for 1 day of the year. Many of our parents explain that despite their hardship “Nobody likes a sad person so I try to be happy.”
ASHA has much to be thankful for and pleased about, not least the growing support it is receiving from people in Stoke and North Staffordshire. Refugees and asylum seekers realise this as they share in our day to day work as volunteers and helpers. The atmosphere is invariably upbeat. Over 100 children are already signed up for the Party and we are deeply grateful to all those who year on year contribute towards the cost. Individually we may feel helpless, but collectively we can and do make a difference.