For our monthly meeting in March, we were introduced to the work of AFRIL – Action for Refugees in Lewisham. Our original speaker, the founder of the charity, was unavailable at the last minute but we were lucky that their Secretary and Trustee Zaid Moosa was happy to step in.
AFRIL is a small charity, started in 2006, and relies very much on the goodwill and support of the local community. The need in Lewisham is high, which is one of the poorest areas of the UK and where 30% of the residents are foreign born.
Zaid gave us an overview of the work of the charity, telling us about the Rainbow Club, which is run for children on Saturdays, their advice workers who run sessions every week, English classes and a ‘destitution service’ handing out food and clothing. Zaid emphasised how much local knowledge and help enables them to do their work and how simple actions can change lives, including the opportunity to make friends and support each other. He explored some stories with us to give us examples and context, which made a strong impact along with the beautiful and heart warming photos that were projected on the wall. After the presentation, Zaid answered many of our questions about their work in particular and the refugee situation in general, both global and locally.
The biggest need the charity has is mostly money, but they also need people to support and volunteer.
If you are interested in the work of the charity or feel you can contribute in any way, please do check out the online links below.
Their next event is a pub quiz on Wednesday 13th April – information here.