Thursday 29th June was a special occasion for Refugees Welcome in Richmond (RWinR). We joined with The Three Peas to present an evening of lyrical Syrian music and talks to the accompaniment of the most delicious food and drink.
It was a balmy evening, making the secluded garden of the Vineyard Church Café an ideal spot to retreat after a day’s work and enjoy the company of friends, old and new, and to hear about experiences in the Greek camps and in Syria itself – many harrowing but also many joyful and full of hope.
One of my favourite stories was one told by a volunteer who had spent some time working in a Greek camp. With the backdrop of a slide showing a tall, blond Norwegian acting as Head Chef and cooking for 500 people a day, we learnt that his Syrian companion and sous-chef liked to wait until the Norwegian was out of sight for a moment and secretly add ingredients to the vast vats “to give the food a Syrian flavour!”
The Three Peas gave us a glimpse of the amazing work they do raising large sums of money by constant imaginative ideas and then taking themselves to Greece to help out with the many problems and shortfalls.
Guests exchanged their own experiences and chatted over the most varied and delicious spicy dips or chicken casserole with a Middle Eastern flavour and salads with pomegranate seeds and mysteriously tangy delights. It was a feast and the untiring work of The Peas and their willing friends made a highlight of the evening.
Certainly an evening to be remembered and undoubtedly an excellent way to spread the word about the aims of both RWinR and The Three Peas. We raised money for the many, many needs of those who have lost their homes, their possessions and, worst of all, their families and loved ones.