Families Matter is a UK based organisation that provides support to vulnerable families and individuals. The pain and distress caused by those travelling to Syria and Iraq is hard to describe but Saleha Jaffer heads this unqiue organisation called Families Against Stress and Trauma (FAST) which deals with some of the pain, anguish and devastation that some families in the UK have gone through having discovered that their loved ones have travelled to conflict zones and been tragically killed or have gone missing.
Today I attended a workshop at International House in Brixton Lambeth, to see the new short film that FAST have created. The film focussed upon the impact of three protagonists;
- Ahmed from Cardiff, who’s son Nasser travelled to Syria in November 2013, followed by his younger brother Aseel in February 2014.
- Helen from Cambridge, who had lived in Syria for many years but decided to leave in 2011 after her son was shot during a protest. Despite this her son returned to Homs on several occasions to help deliver aid.
- Hafeez from Crawley, who’s brother Abdul was the first Briton to die in Syria in a suicide attack when he drove a truck loaded with explosives into Aleppo prison.
The video is part of a pack which is being distributed along with a guide to facilitators. The pack outlines;
- Ice breaker
- Warm-up discussion
- Show film
- Group discussion
You can find out more information and watch the video on the Families Matters website.
“I found the workshop very informative and it made me think about the families of those who travel to these conflict zones. Whilst many of us will not sympathise with those who get involved in these conflicts, we quite often don’t appreciate the distress that their families go through – so it is good to see the work that this organisation is doing to raise awareness of this issue, to see the advice and support that they are providing, and to know that work is being done which will hopefully deter others from getting involved in these conflicts.
Mark Healey, Lambeth Hate Crime Prevention Coordinator