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Refugee Week 2021 - Najwa and Nina

Najwa Elba

Najwa and Nina are a Syrian mother and daughter duo living in Gateshead.

They were resettled here in 2015, when Nina was 14. Since arriving in Gateshead, Nina attended school then furthered her studies at Gateshead College. Najwa is a former teacher, and has used her skills to support the Syrian community.

At the beginning of lockdown, Najwa and Nina began volunteering for The Gateshead Community Organisation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our Refugee Resettlement Team funded a programme where volunteers made and distributed over 500 meals to resettled Syrian families in the local area. They named the pop-up kitchen 'Altaeam Meana', meaning 'food together' in Arabic. The benefits of this project have included introducing the local community to Syrian cuisine, which has strengthened relationships with resettled communities.

Corrina Mulholland runs Gateshead Community Organisation. She said: "We have got to know Najwa and Nina very well, and have helped them to apply for jobs and enrol on a college course.

"We really value their contribution - so much so that we have invited Najwa to become a director and will be supporting her through the process."

Najwa Elba
15 June 2021

Najwa and Nina are a Syrian mother and daughter duo living in Gateshead.

They were resettled here in 2015, when Nina was 14. Since arriving in Gateshead, Nina attended school then furthered her studies at Gateshead College. Najwa is a former teacher, and has used her skills to support the Syrian community.

At the beginning of lockdown, Najwa and Nina began volunteering for The Gateshead Community Organisation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our Refugee Resettlement Team funded a programme where volunteers made and distributed over 500 meals to resettled Syrian families in the local area. They named the pop-up kitchen 'Altaeam Meana', meaning 'food together' in Arabic. The benefits of this project have included introducing the local community to Syrian cuisine, which has strengthened relationships with resettled communities.

Corrina Mulholland runs Gateshead Community Organisation. She said: "We have got to know Najwa and Nina very well, and have helped them to apply for jobs and enrol on a college course.

"We really value their contribution - so much so that we have invited Najwa to become a director and will be supporting her through the process."

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