19-25 June 2017
During Refugee Week, we turned the spotlight on some of the organisations helping Haringey’s refugees, and shared the stories of those who have made the borough their home.
Haringey is the one of the most diverse boroughs in the country, with more than 100 languages spoken and a huge variety of cultures shared. Home to a population of approximately 267,000 people, Haringey is an area where people are proud to embrace and welcome different nationalities and cultures.
There are a number of services in Haringey that work with families to help them transition into a new life in a new country, and make the area their home. This includes Tottenham-based charity Caris, which has helped several young families seeking asylum to become part of Haringey’s thriving community.
We spoke with three young Albanian mothers to find out how Caris has helped them settle into Haringey life.
“I was in a very bad situation in my country and wanted a better life for myself and my children. It didn’t feel like there were any opportunities for me there, and I didn’t want my children to grow up with the same kind of future. I found it very difficult at first coming to a new country as I didn’t have any friends or family and I couldn’t speak any English. I wasn’t sure what to expect especially with a new child. I had a health officer because of the baby and she introduced me to Caris which was a really big help. They helped me with clothes and toys for my children and I was even able to make friends and join a course that helped with my English.”
Another mother went on to say;
“When I first came to this country, the Home Office gave me a lot of advice, I was able to get help enrolling my son into school and register with a doctor. It can sometimes get lonely and coming to Caris has really helped me feel a bit more at home. Coming to a new county isn’t easy and I prepared, but with Caris’s help its definitely getting better.”
Our third mother offered some advice to future refugees seeking asylum.
“My first year living here was very difficult, I had left my family and friends and was trying to get used to different traditions. It wasn’t until I had my baby that I started going to playgroups at Triangle and Caris, where I made friends and did an English course with HALS (Haringey Adult Learning). I would say to anyone who was coming here as a refugee, they should try and learn English as it will really help you get on with people and be a part of things.”