Our Mission

At GARAS (Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) we offer support to those seeking asylum in Gloucestershire, welcoming them when they arrive, advocating for them in their daily struggles, supporting them if they face being sent back as well as helping them adjust to their long term future if they are recognised as refugees.

Contact Information

Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS)
The Trust Centre
Falkner St
Gloucester
GL1 4SQ

Telephone: 01452 550528
email: info@garas.org.uk
www.garas.org.uk

Director
Adele Owen

Whilst on holiday in Sicily……

June 19, 2019

It’s lovely in Syracuse, the temperature is 30 (it really is). The streets are lined with cafes and restaurants; there are little stalls selling ceramics and jewellery, every one is on holiday. We cut down a little back alley, mama is sat outside, cats are asleep in the corners and we come to a church.

It is open and it looks like they have an exhibition of photos. We go in.

The photos are all of smiling African boys, as we read the legend we realise they are all refugees. The exhibition tells their stories. They have fled poverty, prison persecution, crossed the deserts been tortured, imprisoned in Libya before escaping in sinking boats. We talk of GARAS with the lady in charge, and she tells about their charity, the Marist Community. She talks of Africa and we mention Syria, Afghanistan and lran. We tell of stowing away in lorries, she of rescues from boats. She talks of government reluctance and asylum refused and we agree. None of these boys have their papers, they are in an impossible limbo. They all are trying to move north. There is no work here. We leave and return to the problems of the ancient world, of Greeks and Romans, of Moors and of earth quakes, but none of it now seems quite so important. There is clearly an immigrant problem here as with all Europe.

Penny