This Ramadan we want to draw attention to the young refugees and asylum seekers spending their first Ramadan away from family and friends.

It is a time to surround yourself with those in your life you care about and to bring happiness to the lives of those less fortunate. Please consider donating to Creative Youth Network as we build support groups for young refugees and asylum seekers in Bristol.

Around 98% of the young refugees and asylum seekers we serve are currently observing Ramadan. The majority of them are unaccompanied, minors arriving in the UK with no family or friends to share this time with. The Station youth club offers them an inclusive and nurturing space in which they can celebrate their own cultures.

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims. It is a time for spiritual reflection, a time for Muslims to gain a better understanding of human suffering. For self evaluation, and an increased devotion to God.

The end of Ramadan is Eid al-fitr, we run an Eid Feast for our young asylum seekers and refugees, where they can enjoy different activities, music, and traditional food.

This support is essential for our young people as it is a significant celebration from their home culture.

Z.B.'s Story*

Since arriving in the UK on my own in early 2021 after fleeing war in Afghanistan, my life has completely changed. I've had a lot of new experiences - some exciting, some really scary. Creative Youth Network has been here for me every step of the way. 

My brother also came to the UK but we’re not able to live with the same foster carers. The Station is one of the very few places we can both go to spend time together. 

I was sad for a long time at the beginning, and it was difficult to talk to people, even here.

I'm Muslim and Eid al Fitr means a lot to me. It's the end of Ramadan and I remember while I was growing up, we would get together with my big family to celebrate it. Over here I thought I wouldn't have that this year. I was really sad about it. And then Creative Youth Network put on a celebration at The Station. 

When I came in, there was food I recognised, and blankets on the floor just like there are at home. We played the drums and we danced, and we ate together and I got this feeling that I'm welcomed, that there are people here too who care about who I am, where I come from and respect my culture. 

Z.B.'s youth worker said: 

Before Eid Feast, I’d never seen Z smile before. He was withdrawn and very worried. After the celebration, he came straight to me and started asking me questions, being chatty. It's just incredible to see Z open up like that. 

Eid Feast showed Z that The Station is his community, that we embrace his culture, and we are creating a safe environment for him to be himself and make friends. 

We will do the same at Christmas: ensure young people are connected and feel the magic of the festive season, in our big welcoming family.

*ZB's Story is based on the stories of countless young people who we help through our services. Due to the sensitivities surrounding young people's lives, we maintain anonymity and confidentiality by not providing identifying details on young people we work with.

There are many young people struggling and suffering when arriving in the UK after long dangerous journeys. It is crucial young people seeking sanctuary have support from trusted youth workers. 

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