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Farid and Andy

Farid's Story: Welcome Churches

person Welcome Churches
2 min

"Before, we didn't know (the) British were such a generous people, but, when we came here, they have helped us a lot.”

Farid, a resettled Afghan, is now living in Watford and being supported by a local church. Farid and his family, including four children, were evacuated from Afghanistan in August 2021 and are part of over 9000 Afghans still living in a bridging hotel whilst long-term accommodation is found for them. The family arrived in the UK with just a single set of clothes and received support from the church through Welcome Churches’ Afghan Welcome initiative, including practical items like clothing and toys but also language, community and cultural support. This has really helped them to settle and adapt to British life.

Christ First Watford is running up to 16 activities each week to provide education, community and practical help. Including sports events, language classes, family events, communities cooking together and cultural exchanges.  

The church has helped Farid, his family, and many others feel at home and start to integrate into life in the UK. As Farid shares, “Now I love Watford a lot: even sometimes we think that we were born in Watford, this is a really loving place.”

At Welcome Churches, we are humbled and honoured to see the incredible impact that churches up and down the country are having on refugee communities. This is a testament to the church and Christian communities and a practical outpouring of the Bible’s command to welcome the stranger. It is great to partner with churches, to help them maximise the impact they can have. Andy at Christ First Watford shared, “It’s really important to have people who are experienced in this, because we weren’t.”

We continue to equip churches supporting Afghan refugees, people arriving from Ukraine as well as those seeking asylum from many other countries. At Welcome Churches, we seek to provide support Beyond the Crisis and to make a long-lasting difference in the lives of refugees looking to rebuild their lives. When seeds are planted, we may never know the full impact of the church’s ministry and the long-term transformation on lives and community. But as Farid shared, “We are really grateful to the church. Not just me, but even the next generation will be grateful to them.”

“I’m calling on communities and churches: please help people who came to the UK and are vulnerable. They had houses, they had good lives back in their countries, but once they come here they don’t have anything. Please continue your support of people from Afghanistan and Ukrainians. Please continue helping them.”

Thank you for supporting Welcome Churches, and people like Farid and his family. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and is making a lasting difference to communities throughout the UK. 

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