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Leicester Refugees enjoy a weekend at Friends of the Earth Base camp.

Joel, Zodwe and Abdul, regular attenders at Leicester City of Sanctuary Drop in, enjoyed the get-together for environmental activism last weekend in the beautiful country side at Hartington, Derbyshire. We were delighted that Friends of the Earth offered us 3 free places for asylum seekers and refugees and all three returned with new enthusiasm for the environment, refreshed by a break from the city and meeting new friends and keen to join the Friends of the Earth local group.
Joel who works an allotment for asylum seekers told us “It was beautiful.

I learned a lot about the environment and how to protect it. We talked about conservation of bees. I liked this because I believe in organic gardening and I know that bees are important pollinators. At the same time as meeting new friends I was proud to represent Leicester city of Sanctuary. Overall I was very impressed.
Zodwe said she came back with a “fresh mind” and that she wanted to “encourage everyone to keep our environment clean”. She said “The food was so nice, I made friends and I also had the chance to go to church. The countryside was so beautiful and well preserved. It was very educational and actually it was a privilege to be there.”
Abdul said “I liked the Friends of the Earth because they help protect animals, plants and trees. They grow special plants and flowers for the bees. I enjoyed it because it gave me a nice feeling and I now understand more. I did not know about these things before. I want to tell people about it. I can explain all about our effect on the climate in my own languages – Pashtun, Dari, Farsi, Kurdish and Urdu but it is more difficult in English. Many people have no idea how important it is. Not just in England but in all countries around the world. I want to join and help them. I made friends and enjoyed the arts activities.” Abdul brought back sketches of the lovely Derbyshire landscape and of the communal tents at Base Camp.