A new interfaith project launched in parliament will help refugees coming to the UK learn about British culture and laws to assist their integration.
The initiative was announced by the Joseph Interfaith Foundation last week, with the aim of educating young migrants coming to the UK, fleeing war and poverty.
Aimed at 16-26 year-olds mainly from Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan, the project will offer three educational modules on British social culture, domestic abuse and women’s rights, and the healthcare system.
Launched as part of Inter Faith Week, the chief executive of the Joseph Interfaith Foundation Mehri Niknam told Jewish News why the initiative was initiated. She said: “Many of our young refugees come from war-torn countries where either they have witnessed horrific violence or have been personally affected by it. When they arrive in this country, many don’t have the necessary language skills or knowledge of our laws and social mores.
“The major aims of this project are to inform young refugees and offer them support from various professional, voluntary and religious bodies; to assist them build resilience against being misled through misunderstanding and help them to integrate more easily into the society. It is also the best way to demonstrate to them the significance of good interfaith relations in this county.”
The foundation, which is the only national joint Jewish-Muslim interfaith charity in the UK, was praised by communities minister Lord Nick Bourne. He said the body was “very important for interfaith relations in this country”, and called the initiative “an excellent and necessary project for the young refugees and I congratulate the Foundation for initiating it.”
Rabbi Binstock, senior rabbi of St John’s Wood United Synagogue and a member of the foundation’s National Council of Imams & Rabbis said: “I am delighted that the Joseph Interfaith Foundation has undertaken this initiative to introduce refugees to the “Social Culture of Britain” and, speaking on behalf of the Chief Rabbi as well, we look forward to giving this project our full support.”
Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism, Rabbi Danny Rich, who is also co-chair of the National Refugees Welcome Board, and a member of the Foundation’s National Council of Imams & Rabbis, also praised the initiative. He said: “This project will provide very important education for the successful integration of refugees. We are delighted to support the project.”