Refugee resettlement

Al-Amal Project and Friends of Al-Amal - refugee voice and support

Syrian family sewing textiles to help their communityThe council has always valued refugees as an asset and the way forward and not just victims of war. In October 2016, we worked with families to explore and understand the principles and thinking behind community development, common purpose and collective good. As a result of this, Al-Amal (Hope) Project was formed and constituted to act as a voice and support mechanism for new Scot’s families.

In 2019, a second group Friends of Amal, was formed by local volunteers, churches and communities to provide direct support to Al-Amal Project, the Resettlement Team and new Scots' families:

  • Improve resettlement experiences in Aberdeenshire by enabling new Scots’ families to contribute to the planning, operational and evaluative process
  • Reduce isolation, low mental health, boredom and frustration by encouraging active community participation
  • Develop community projects that build on the skills, knowledge and expertise of new Scots
  • Coordinate and work with other groups with similar objectives
  • Develop employability skills and learning
  • Raise funds for cultural trips and experiences
  • Enable new Scots to support community events and projects in Inverurie
  • Develop the use of Social Media to aid communication
  • Advocate for the unmet needs of new Scots in Aberdeenshire
  • Provide ESOL support to those unable to access mainstream learning
  • Coordinate donations

Al-Amal Project is refugee led and an active partner in resettlement attending airport arrivals, helping to settle families, offering emergency support, providing digital IT support, running an Arabic school for children, volunteering at local events, organising Syrian Coffee Days, a New Scots Early Years’ Seminar and many more events, activities and projects.

Chairperson Dured Alhalabe was awarded the National Young Scot Community Award in 2017 and Al-Amal Project won the Inspiring Aberdeenshire Best of Garioch Award. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, families contributed to their communities by producing over 3000 scrub bags for NHS staff and medics.