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WHO WE AREThe International Organization for Migration (IOM) is part of the United Nations System as the leading inter-governmental organization promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. IOM has had a presence in the United Kingdom since 1995.
Our WorkAs the leading inter-governmental organization promoting humane and orderly migration, IOM plays a key role to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through different areas of intervention that connect both humanitarian assistance and sustainable development. In the UK, IOM supports migrants through a variety of resettlement, support and protection activities.
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My name is Khadeja Alamary and I’m originally from Syria. I work with the Pickwell Foundation as an Ambassador for community sponsorship, based in North Devon. I moved to the UK in 2017.
The community means a lot to me. It doesn't mean the location or the place where I live or am based now. The community is the gathering and sharing of the values of love and the experience of life being amazing, fit for change.
When I am engaged with community sponsorship as a volunteer, I honestly start to feel this is my home. So it gives me like a big sense of empowerment. I'm happy and proud of myself about what I have been able to do and what I have changed in the community.
It's not easy for the other communities to have different diversity. In the beginning, I felt a bit lonely because I’m alone here now, no one else can speak my language nor is there anyone from my culture. But at this stage, I feel this is my home and the people can share my culture a little bit and this is so amazing.
I celebrated Eid and we swapped our celebrations. I’ll never forget the first Christmas when I arrived here. One month after I arrived, there were Christmas celebrations so I went to the church and shared their celebrations. It was so amazing. It's a lovely emotion when I see the people are happy to see me when they ask me to the church with my family.
I'm also really happy and proud of myself about what I have been able to change in my community, such as helping the families around me and raising the awareness of all the refugees.
And I changed the culture in my community a little bit and it's so amazing to have lovely people around me who can support me and accept me in their community as a refugee.
I was viewed as a refugee at the beginning but now I feel that I'm completely a member of this community and it's so amazing to arrive at this feeling.
I wouldn't like anyone to experience the same suffering I did during my journey, being in the war and losing their country. It's so, so hard to say. It was difficult to talk about my emotions because you can't translate such bad emotions into words or sentences, it's really hard. So the main thing I would like to do to help other people as much as I can, to raise their awareness and to be human like everyone else and to have a good chance to work and to have a lovely life. Thank you so much.