TALK BY REV SHUNA DICKS – REFUGEES

An update to this item is provided below the photograph.

Rev. Shuna Dicks, minister of Aberlour and active member of Moray Supports Refugees, gave a very interesting talk in St Mary’s Church, Fochabers about her time volunteering in a refugee camp during the Summer of 2016.

The presentation was well attended and many were moved at hearing first hand from Shuna about the refugees and their camps.

The refugees exhibited wonderful hospitality to the volunteers, sharing their meagre rations with them.  This was an example of the best of both the Muslim and Christian religions – that hospitality is at the core of their faith.

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The following report was sent in by Amy and describes in more detail what Rev Shuna experienced  and what is happening here in Scotland and Moray.

“Yesterday we were at Rev Shuna Dick’s talk about her time on the island of Chios, helping in a refugee camp this summer. It was so humbling and inspiring. ‘Moray Supports Refugees’ has a depot and sorting area in the Chanonry industrial estate, where donations of clothes, blankets, baby equipment, toys and toiletries can be brought. MSR also have a website and a facebook page, so do pass on that info to anyone you think might be interested. Today at the depot, a huge pile of packed up boxes of supplies were waiting to be taken to Dingwall and from there, to be packed in a container and sent to the Lebanon.

The refugee camps on the island of Chios, where Shuna spent some time are always glad of volunteers, and are assisted by helpers from all over the world. Shuna and her friend worked in a street kitchen which served 1200 people daily, but others teach, translate, do crafts…there are many families in the camps, and a large number of young men who have chosen to flee Syria, rather than be conscripted to ISIS or other  organisations, or murdered for refusing.

We were shocked to hear that only last week one of the three camps there was targeted by a Neo-Nazi group on the island, who threw fireworks and petrol bombs into the camp, destroying accomodation and injuring many volunteers and families. Thankfully no-one was killed. After pressure from social media, the Guardian were persuaded to print an article about the attack. Some of the workers in the camp decided to respond – children lay on the ground on white sheets, forming themselves to spell out the word PEACE.

Warm winter clothes are in demand at the moment, especially small adults’ and childrens’ outgrown (but still decent) coats.

There’s so much more to say, but that will do for now. Thank you so much for being interested enough in the Syrian refugee crisis to seek truth beyond the headlines in the media, and for supporting the work of Moray Supports Refugees. Please forward this to anyone you think would be interested, and do look up the MSR website.”