Last week we welcomed 48 visitors from the Arna centre for asylum seekers to take part in an activity-packed programme. The visit was part of our Meeting-place for Diversity programme, the aim of which is to help groups of visitors benefit from the diverse College community. Since this was project week, we had a core group of 15 students who dedicated themselves to this interaction, led by staff members Liusaidh, Leonora and Hannah.
The day-time activities included canoeing, archery, paddle boarding, fishing, arts and crafts, ceramics, dance and horse riding. Every evening we used the pool facilities at Haugland, which the children particularly enjoyed! Afterwards there was baking, film screenings, board games and a ping-pong tournament. The final evening was marked with the baking of delicious pizza and breads in the baking house, crafting friendship bracelets, board games and dancing. The programme is made possible with support from IMDI and UDI. It was most rewarding for all involved and hopefully the beginning of a long term co-operation with our new friends in Arna.
After the project, Haleigh, one of the RCN students, said this:
“Even though the refugees who were in my group did not speak English, we still found ways to communicate with each other. It was impactful to see how much love and understanding can occur when no verbal communication takes place. It truly gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation for what these refugees have to go through just to find a safe and happy place to live. A moment of realization for me was on the second night, we were watching a movie, in Norwegian, and a little girl from Syria had fallen asleep in my lap, and I thought, this is exactly the reason why I came here to UWCRCN.”