22/06/2018

More Than 1,000 Syrian Refugees Welcomed In NI

A further 78 Syrian refugees have arrived in Northern Ireland, bringing the total number who have arrived in the country to 1,010.

Head of the Civil Service, David Sterling, has praised the humanitarian effort by organisations and people across Northern Ireland taking part in the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme.

"It is fitting that during Refugee Week, we welcomed the 1,000th Syrian refugee to Northern Ireland," he said.

"Over the last three years, organisations and people across Northern Ireland have played our part in this humanitarian effort and I am proud of everything we have achieved together to welcome these families into our society and offer them a new future.

"Today we are recognising the considerable effort which has helped to ensure the transition has been as smooth as possible."
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Ian Snowden, who leads the operational delivery of the programme in the Department for Communities, added: "It has been a challenging experience but is one of the most rewarding projects I have worked on.

"As a father of two boys, every time I see the mums and dads and their children arrive at the airport I am struck by how frightening it would be to move your entire family to a new country and start again. Despite the challenges they face, the refugee families who have arrived in Northern Ireland have embraced life here

"Some have gone on to study at University for the careers they wished to pursue but couldn't in Syria or the surrounding camps. Children are thriving in schools. We have had sporting success and many examples of how the Syrian culture is enriching the communities in which the families live.

"Northern Ireland is providing the families with a bright future and I want to thank everyone who has and will continue to play their part in this scheme."

(LM)

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