Refugee Christmas party at St Aloysius!

December 21, 2022

The English for Speakers of Other Languages School at St Aloysius church in Glasgow has provided English language lessons for over 4,000 asylum seekers and refugees since March 2016.

The school depends largely on volunteer teachers who come from a wide range of backgrounds. As well as language lessons, they help meet the needs of their students through the purchase of bicycles (many have to walk miles to get to the classes), IT devices, Wi-Fi, clothes, furniture, and household items. They also help by supporting and signposting students with problems to areas of assistance.

This week a Christmas party for around 50 was held in St Aloysius church hall, where most of the daily lessons take place. Teachers and admin volunteers formed a team to purchase, collect and prepare food and festive items. A marvellous spread was laid on and students were served a 3-course lunch including falafels, salads, dips, hot lasagne, pizza, cakes and chocolate desserts, along with various refreshments.

One of the highlights was 'musical chairs'. A break then took place during which a massive raffle was held where the prizes (all donations) included a 55" TV, vacuum cleaner, microwave, DVD player, household items, and much more.

Other highlights included a choir of Ukrainian students who sang some of their national and Christmas songs, singing of Scottish folk songs, and dancing to festive pop songs, which some of our Sudanese friends found amusing but nevertheless joined in!

The party was a great success. Afterwards, many students came up to the volunteers to express their gratitude. To quote from one of the young Ukrainians: "This morning I was feeling very sad, but after this party I feel very, very happy. Thank you so much" - a sentiment echoed by many more. A big thank you to all those who helped. All in all, a job well done!

Banner photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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