A new year, a new decade! New beginnings can be exciting. They can also be scary and overwhelming. This can be even more so when the new beginnings are in a new country, and a new language.
Just over four years ago I moved to Poland. It was exciting, but there were so many things I needed to learn and so it was sometimes overwhelming. I didn’t speak a lot of Polish, and this often made it harder.
Small, kind things that people did to help made a big difference. Knowing where I could access help also made a big difference.
Maybe you work with families in your setting who come from different countries, and speak other languages.
Maybe you are a family from a different country, living in the UK.
Here are some ideas to make people welcome, and some ideas of places you can access help:
- Learn hello in different languages!
- Share pictures of what you did for Christmas, or how you celebrated New Year. Learning about someone’s culture makes them feel more welcome.
- Take every opportunity to learn how things are done in different countries, and don’t assume your way is right or better just because you do things differently! For example, sharing stories in homes often looks different in different cultures.
- Town tours, even on a map in your setting, are very helpful. The children could enjoy this too. They could help put pictures on a map of shops, the hospital, the library etc.
Places to help those living in Fife, Scotland:
- Fife Migrants Forum is based in Kirkcaldy but helps people across Fife. https://fifemigrantsforum.org.uk. They can provide advice and support on a range of issues. They can also help with opportunities to get involved in the community.
- If you live in or near St Andrews, the Community Café at North East Fife Hub meets: 9.30-15.30 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays. They meet at: St Andrew’s Episcopal Church Hall, Queens Terrace, St Andrews, KY16 9QF. It’s a great place to meet people and find out more about activities in the area. There is also free food! You can find more information on their facebook page: Community Café at NEF hub.
If you have more ideas to welcome people from different countries, or of where to access helpful information, please comment below!
Happy New Year!