Scottish refugees were given the warmest of welcomes by Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse MSP, Christina McKelvie, as the SNP MSP attending a World Refugee Day event hosted by Aberlour and the Scottish Refugee Council.
World Refugee Day (June 20th) was established by the United Nations to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Now in its 17th year, World Refugee Day takes place every year as an opportunity to commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees.
The event comes as the Scottish Government reiterated their leading role in the Syrian Resettlement Programme, welcoming over 2000 Syrian refugees, including across South Lanarkshire.
Thanks to Aberlour and the Scottish Refugee Council, local MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie, attended their ‘Cup of Tea with a Young Refugee’ event.
The SNP MSP took time to talk with several of the young people, sharing their experiences of arriving to Scotland and the great societal, economic and cultural impact they have had on Scotland.
As part of the event, Christina was invited to highlight her favourite Scots’ word to share with the refugees.
Commenting on the visit, Christina McKelvie MSP said:
“World Refugee Day gives us all an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful cultural and social effect refugees bring to Scotland.
“In Scotland, we are proud to welcome those who seek a new life. Those who seek sanctuary and safety – free from persecution – are always welcome in Scotland.
“I’m grateful to Arbelour and the Scottish Refugee Council for hosting such a great event. All the young people I spoke to told me how safe, secure and happy they now feel in Scotland.
“This World Refugee Day, I am proud to stand alongside our refugees in support and understanding that Scotland is rightly their home as much as it is anyone else’s.”
Martin Canavan, Policy & Participation Officer for Aberlour added:
"On World Refugee Day, we were delighted to host our Cup of Tea with a Young Refugee event along with the Scottish Refugee Council.
"Today provides an opportunity for us to think about and reflect on the unimaginable challenges so many millions of people around the World encounter every day, displaced from their homes and communities most often as a result of conflict or persecution.
"Aberlour’s Scottish Guardianship Service supports all those asylum seeking and refugee children and young people who arrive in Scotland alone and separated from their families, many of whom have faced extreme peril and experienced significant trauma in their journey to get here.