First Minister Humza Yousaf visited Govan Community Project today (Friday 12 January) to hear about the work the charity is doing to support refugees in Glasgow.
Mr Yousaf was greeted by staff and community members at the charity’s office in Govan.
Govan Community Project provides an advice & advocacy service, support with food insecurity, language classes and community groups to reduce social isolation, for refugees and those seeking asylum.
During the visit, Mr Yousaf met with head of charity, Traci Kirkland, who outlined the current challenges facing the sector. He also spoke to members of the community groups, many of whom are currently in the asylum system, about their concerns around housing, education, employment and public transport.
Traci Kirkland, Head of Charity, said: “We were really happy to have Humza Yousaf visit our new office building in Govan today. With the asylum and refugee community facing ever increasing challenges from the UK’s hostile environment, we welcomed the opportunity to share our experiences with the First Minister; he answered a whole host of questions from our community members. It was good to hear how much he values the work Govan Community Project does.”
We spoke to some of our community members to get their thoughts on the First Minister’s visit.
“It’s was a great opportunity extended to me by the Food for All project to meet and engage with the first minister of Scotland, Humza Yousaf and experience his empathy for New Scots like me first hand. We look forward to his implementation of our requests.”
“It was a pleasure meeting the First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf. A fruitful discussion in regard to the rich cultural diversity Scotland has to offer and all of us doing our part, working towards a more compassionate system for all!”
“It was a wonderful opportunity that Govan Community Project gave us to meet with the First Minister Hamza Yousaf, and it was useful for us to talk frankly and freely with him about various issues, about our daily life in Scotland, about our joy/happiness and sometimes our suffering in some matters. The response of his office and their communication with us in order to help us solve some of the problems that we suffer from the housing association makes us feel safe, comfortable and happy living in Scotland and to grow up with our children with healthy environment, through our local community.” Ahmad.
“The meeting with the First Minister was indeed well planned and helpful. Great opportunity for different asylum seekers and refugees to speak out their concerns and challenges. In my view he had a listening ear and was quite approachable. This really projected the image of GCP. I will however request that a follow-up team is set up that will serve as a bridge to get the needed responses on the various promises that the First Minister made.”