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Hello, and welcome to Lifeline. Today we've another busy programme.
We're going as far away as a unique Nepalese village
on the outskirts of Belfast, where children learn about different cultures.
And we're on an autumn garden clear-up with Men United,
a special activity group for men over 55.
But our first appeal today comes from the Embrace charity,
which works to make Northern Ireland a more welcoming place
for migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers.
You may have noticed that there are many more people from other countries living here now.
It can be a daunting experience, especially if you don't speak the language well.
I've been a migrant as well.
At the tender age of 17, I found myself in unfamiliar territory,
looking for a welcome and a connection with the locals.
For many, migration is a positive experience,
and they're able to build a new life and become part of the community.
This has been the case for Aneta from Poland.
Starting a new life in a new country can be exciting, challenging
and hard at the same time.
When I came seven years ago,
I didn't know English very well.
I couldn't speak and hardly understood anything.
But I have found here very nice people
with big hearts and open minds.
A local charity gave me a lot of encouragement and support.
For me, Northern Ireland is a good place to live.
You can make a big difference by just saying a simple hello
to your new neighbours.
We came in Northern Ireland about a year ago.
It was quite difficult in the beginning,
especially the language barrier
and we experienced many difficulties to settle,
and to understand the places and everything.
It was very difficult to find work.
We received our permission a few months after we came.
And after that, it took ages to get it.
So it's very difficult to find musician's work,
and any kind of work.
We found a local church here and this helped us very much.
They took care of us at every level.
They helped us with the documents, they helped us with every information we needed.
They helped us in our daily needs.
And, um, this was very good for us
and it helped us to survive those months.
For a small number of people, their experience here is difficult.
In these tough times, migrants, like locals, can lose their jobs.
Unfortunately, some migrant workers find themselves
with no entitlement to benefits or even a bed in a homeless shelter.
For some, the best move is to return to their home country,
but for others, short-term support can get them back on their feet
and into work here, with the help of the Embrace charity.
Embrace is a Christian organisation, whose main role
is making this a more welcoming place to people from other countries
and different minority ethnic backgrounds.
We also raise awareness about the challenges faced by migrants
and, where necessary, you know, providing practical needs.
Before...it was an Italian factory...
Embrace networks with a range of homeless support organisations
and minority ethnic support groups. Embrace On The Street offers a positive response
through donation and distribution of clothing, bedding, toiletries and foodstuffs to those on the street
and in hostels, both local and migrant people.
The Embrace Emergency Fund
supports people in short-term accommodation
and pays for flights home for people who might become destitute.
They helped us with emergency accommodation,
and they designed a very good leaflet to welcome us to Belfast,
to give to our members, so we know exactly where to go for help.
'Many of us have family who have gone abroad.'
Embrace provides the support we hope they would get
if they found themselves in trouble.
If this coming winter is as severe as the last,
there's a significant risk of more people suffering on our streets.
Your donation, however small, can make a big difference to someone's life. Thank you for your support.
If you'd like to help Embrace fund their work, use our online donation form.
Or send a cheque to...
You can visit the charity's website...
The Beyond Skin charity uses music and art
as a form of cultural education to address issues such as racism and sectarianism.
But the charity recently brought a taste of Nepal
to Whiteabbey Community Centre.
In Nepal, they dye a little red streak in their hair,
which I think is brilliant - it makes things simpler.
You can tell right away she's married.
Supported by Newtonabbey Borough Council, Beyond Skin
had a lively audience of children keen to find out
about life on the other side of the world.
< Namaste, amma.
'We built tents to represent huts in Nepal,
'and we teach the kids how kids in Nepal live during the day.'
So they'll collect water, wood for the fire, get dinner,
make bracelets to sell at market.
The idea is to teach the kids what it's like
to live in a culture where you can't just go home and play your PlayStation.
They experience a different kind of life.
I've learned a lot today - how to make their little bracelets
and things, and how, like,
small their houses are compared to ours and stuff.
Well, I've learned that they don't have electric or anything like that.
I've learned the language that they're speaking in Nepal.
That looked like a lot of fun.
Now, when some men retire,
they can feel isolated and their health can suffer.
But Men United are a group of mature men
who are determined to get the best out of life.
'It gets you out of the house. I live alone and it gets me out the house.'
If you were stuck in the house on your own,
looking at four walls all day, it'd drive you nuts.
It helps men to come out, to be together, to get away together.
'Volunteer Now looked at older people and the work we do with them,
'and realised that older men don't engage.
'They don't join in. They seem to retire, fade into the armchair.
'And that's a problem, especially with social isolation
'and loneliness and maybe depression.'
So we got some men together
and they came up with the name Men United, and it's grown and grown.
'We go to races, we go to dog meetings...'
We do have a lot of learning - we go to cultural issues as well.
And, you know, it's a win/win.
'Come and join us. It'll change your life.'
I've just time to say we've been inundated with items for our Community Noticeboard.
So we've made a list of events on Ceefax page 619.
You'll also find today's contact details.
They're also on our website...
Upcoming events from the BBC Writer in Residence at Queen's series,
which recently featured Sir Mark Tully,
will soon include journalists Peter Riddell, Sir Peter Stothard and Quentin Letts.
And comedy, politics,
religion and local writers are included in a new series
of illustrated talks from BBC Northern Ireland's Community Archive.
Book tickets for both events through...
So that's it from a busy Lifeline. I'll see you next time.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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