Posted: 19 June 2017

Responding to the refugee crisis: Hat·tê·ḇāh

There are 21.3 million refugees worldwide. Over half of these are under the age of 18. It’s easy to feel helpless looking at these numbers.

Children are fleeing their homes and countries on a daily basis. Towns are destroyed, threats made and families are separated as war ravages communities. It’s easy to feel helpless hearing these stories.

There continue to be vulnerable unaccompanied asylum-seekers arriving in this country. Many feel isolated or afraid, and most continue to struggle with the trauma of having to flee their countries as they begin to build new lives in the UK. It’s easy to feel helpless about a situation on our doorstep.


You can help child refugees

Find out more about our work with child refugees and what you can do to help

What is Hat·tê·ḇāh?

Hat·tê·ḇāh is a partnership initiative that we currently run with the charities Mothers’ Union and Home for Good.

The initiative exists to help church communities to welcome and support child refugees. It’s an opportunity to hear from young people about their experiences and think through the issues they face. But, above all, it’s an opportunity to break down some of those barriers, the things that overwhelm us, and begin to realise the potential of communities coming together to make a difference.

Experiencing barriers

I had the opportunity to attend a training event in Liverpool and was inspired by the ways in which people are welcoming, supporting and protecting some of the most vulnerable young people in our society.

It’s easy to feel helpless hearing these stories

A variety of interactive scenarios helped people to think through what it would be like if they were a refugee. I was particularly struck by one activity where people were given an immigration form to complete. The difficulty was the form was in Polish! It was impossible to understand, beyond guessing wherethe box to write your name and date of birth might be. It helped me to understand how difficult it must be to arrive somewhere where you don’t know the language.

have a go at completing the form

Creating hope

There is something incredible about people coming together to see lives changed.

Attending the training and seeing so many people passionate about welcoming refugees - prepared to return to their friends and family and share their learnings -  made me hopeful.

By working together, we are able to provide the help and support needed to help young refugees flourish. There is a part for each of us to play, this Refugee Week and beyond.

Take a look at our resources to help churches welcome refugees

For further information, do drop us an email, we would love to chat.

By Esther Elliott - Church team

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