St Saviour’s School raises funds to support a Syrian refugee family

25 January 2024

Pupils and teachers at St Saviour's in Walthamstow have raised, alongside a local mosque, £15,000 to help 7 year old Sundus and her father Abdullah, settle into a new home after they fled Aleppo in Syria.

The school is part of Schools of Sanctuary, a national network of schools, who aim to create a culture of welcome and inclusion for refugees and people seeking asylum.

Alongside the money raised the school also arranged for Christmas presents to be given to nearly 100 refugee children living in nearby hotels.

Abdullah said he did not have the words to express his gratitude and Sundus said everyone at the school greeted her on her arrival.

A pupil at St Saviour's, 11-year-old Chioma, told BBC London News she was happy the school could help.

"I want to be a welcoming person and I want to make friends with people from different backgrounds."

Another pupil, 10-year-old Abisha, said: "At first I didn't know anything about refugees or asylum seekers. But now I know refugees are forced to leave their country because of many dangerous things and they don't want to leave their country."

St Walthamstow pupils St Walthamstow pupils

Pupils commented that they wanted to be welcoming and to make friends with people from different backgrounds.

Executive Principal, Amir Lemouchi, commented:

"We have built a community of parents, children and staff who are really understanding of the plight of refugees.

"Being a school of sanctuary has been important in terms of how we deliver that knowledge and understanding to the wider community and children so they can really understand why people from all sorts of places have to leave their home.

"Refugees are living nearby in hotels and the children have been doing a huge amount of work for the children in the hotels. We're to find as many opportunities as we can to show kindness and care in the smallest possible way."

Iftikar Latif, a volunteer at Faizan Islam mosque, which helped to raise money, said: "In these troubling times, the opportunity to work with St Saviour's Church of England School has been incredible.

"We have so much in common in our faith, and beyond faith, and sharing those humanitarian ideals and knowing there are people out there suffering and we can do something to help them."

Watch the BBC London news article

Return to the news page