Scottish Refugee Council launch #cupofteawitharefugee campaign to build empathy

Nathanael Williams

Charity seeks to create new bonds of friendship between Scots and refugees through “tea-drinking events”

THE SCOTTISH REFUGEE COUNCIL (SRC) has launched a new campaign today (Thursday 27 October) which aims at bringing ordinary people together with refugees to share experiences.

Called a “Cup of Tea with a Refugee” the charity is encouraging individuals to host meetings and community gathering to connect through ‘sharing our favourite pastime’ of drinking tea with new and more established refugees in Scotland.

On its website the group will feature stories of people who have made Scotland their home. Several locations across Scotland will hand out tea-bags to promote the event.

A spokesperson for the group said: “Some of us like a big cup of builder’s tea, some of us go for a dainty cup of Earl Grey, while for others it’s got to be a samovar of their mother’s Spiced Chai. Whatever your preference, however you drink it, it’s clear that we’ve all got one thing in common – we all really, really love our tea.

“But it’s not just a hot drink that we love. We all love to share a good story over a cup of tea too. We asked some local refugees living in Scotland for their best tea stories. You can read some of our favourite ones here.”

200 unaccompanied refugee children remain in the Jungle with ages ranging from 8 to 17.

The charity states that using something as common and habitual as tea as a way to bring people closer and create empathy is important at a time when the depiction of refugees has been less than friendly.

Following the vote to leave the European Union (EU) charities have warned of a rise in anti-immigration sentiment exemplified by the spike in racial attacks in England and Wales. Organisations like SRC have been outspoken in the lack of action by the UK Government in helping refugees fleeing conflicts such as the Syrian Civil War, the Libyan Crisis, and unstable governments in central and eastern Africa.

The French Government, having confirmed the demolition of the refugee camp in Calais called “the Jungle”, is clearing the camp without ensuring that unaccompanied children have all been taken care of. 

Around 200 unaccompanied refugee children remain in the Jungle with ages ranging from 8 to 17.

Picture courtesy of Scottish Refugee Council 

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