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Campaign to find homes for good for Syrian children

11 September 2015

AP

Camp-life: children peel garlic during a sandstorm, outside their tents in a refugee camp in Bar Elias, Lebanon, on Tuesday. Many residents of the camp peel garlic for restaurants, earning 30¢ per each kilo of garlic peeled

Camp-life: children peel garlic during a sandstorm, outside their tents in a refugee camp in Bar Elias, Lebanon, on Tuesday. Many residents of the cam...

MORE than 9500 people have responded to a new appeal by a Christian campaign group, Home for Good, asking people to consider fostering child refugees.

The founder of the group, Krish Kandiah, who is a foster- and adoptive-parent, was astounded by the response to the campaign, which was launched on Friday. “It really expresses the heart of British resolve to bring a solution. I’m praying that every single child that comes across with nothing will have a family.”

Southampton City Council, where the group is based, suggests that just one applicant in ten will be granted placement of a child, however.

Christian registrants are shown to have a better chance (one in three) of reaching placement.  For this campaign, that would mean finding homes for about 2800 unaccompanied Syrian children.

The Assistant Curate of St Paul’s, Shadwell, in east London, the Revd Alexandra Lilley, and her husband Michael, are among those who have signed up. The couple had been interested in adopting or fostering children in the future, but were stirred by recent events to bring their plan forward.

As is the case with the majority on the database, Ms Lilley is not yet a registered foster-parent, and will have to go through local-authority screening before taking on a refugee child.

She also expressed a growing concern, however, that the campaign to house Syrian orphans would detract from the plight of hundreds of children in the UK who need foster care, or adoption.

“There might be some glamour attached to the idea of responding to this crisis, when there is actually an existing crisis of vulnerable children in the UK.

“There’s a question of why my heart hasn’t been moved with greater compassion before — that’s a question for the Church to ask, too.”

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