Following the rapid takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in August, Sunderland City Council immediately volunteered itself to participate in a resettlement program led by the government to assist the families of those fleeing the war torn country, with the chaotic and often deadly scenes of evacuation having dominated the global media.
As of October, some of these refugees are now being resettled to new homes on Wearside after being processed in hotels. These people have been forced to flee and rebuild their lives again after the traumatic upheaval. It’s a start, but a scary and uncertain one, as not everyone has been met with a warm welcome.
In an undisclosed area of Farringdon, a single mother of three children recently settled into a home previously rented by an elderly lady who last year succumbed to covid. The fate of her husband remains unclear, yet this might tell a sad story about why she had to leave.
The community however have responded to this news with a mixed reaction. Whilst some residents have been supportive and concerned for the wellbeing of the family, others have been less pleased.
Although no incidents have occurred, the woman is reportedly living in fear of her neighbours, one of whom is “opinionated” man and objects to her presence, leading her to avoid going out the house whilst he and his family are present.
Residents of the city are being subsequently encouraged to welcome and support the refugees with open arms and compassion, as opposed to venting fear and unwelcoming sentiments.
These people are desperate and have faced a choice between life, death or dwelling under the fundamentalism of the Taliban which for women, is miserable.