As Lord Dubs has himself reflected (A hostile Europe may turn its back on child refugees, says Labour peer, 29 December), he was just one of a handful of children who were able to gain access to the UK in the late 1930s. In common with, for example, the Oxford geochronologist Professor Stephen Moorbath and actor Andrew Sachs, both of whom have died in recent months, Alf Dubs has contributed hugely to the life and welfare of the UK and all those who made their way here in flight from murder by the Third Reich went on to establish personal, family and professional lives and, as a scientific colleague said at Stephen Moorbath’s funeral, have repaid their refuge in the UK many times over.
Can it really be the case that 85,000 unaccompanied, traumatised and distressed children are going to be kicked from pillar to post, spurned, left to drift, vulnerable to sexual exploitation, childhoods for ever lost? The UK government has made a pathetic token gesture and allowed in a tiny number. Now the gates are bolted shut and gatekeeper May is devoid of compassion.
• Joan Smith (We are failing to help a generation of traumatised children, 28 December) will be heartened to know that the welfare of traumatised refugee children is being addressed by a new charity in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. The Kalimat Foundation, which takes its name from the Arabic for “words”, takes books into refugee camps and supports trained staff who use stories to help children understand what has happened to them. The charity, which was established earlier this year by Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, whose father is the ruler of Sharjah, believes stories can unlock feelings and aid the journey to recovery.
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