Home News Taking in a refugee ‘really gives you perspective on the world’

Taking in a refugee ‘really gives you perspective on the world’

by naijarex

Michael Gove has been announcing a UK scheme for people to host Ukrainian refugees.

Someone who knows what that is like is Karina Litvack, who has hosted more than 30 refugees in spare rooms at her London home.

She first took in Syrian refugee Basel who still lives with her and she describes as like part of the family – “I’ve even learnt to say: ‘I love you like my son in Arabic’,” she says.

“I signed up thinking ‘Ooh I’m going to help someone else, that’s going to make me a good person’. In actual fact I got so much out of it, I think I got more out of it than I gave really,” she says.

She describes an “amazing feeling… when you see someone who’s really, really in a state of trauma who is finally starting to settle in and take joy in things”.

She adds: “Bear in mind oftentimes these are people who have difficulty finding joy because they feel so guilty that they are here, and they are safe and lucky and their loved ones have been left under the bombs. So there is this huge survivor guilt that they live under 24/7.

“But in addition to that satisfaction that comes from helping someone else my gosh you learn so much about the world and it really gives you perspective.”

She says that it is legitimate to have questions about the process and advises people to set out ground rules between themselves and their hostee.

You can hear the full interview on Ankur Desai’s Asian Network show here and you can hear more from Karina and Basel in the video below.

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