UHURU, a UK-based organisation dealing with the effects of migration, will this Saturday hold a seminar aimed at helping Zimbabwean migrants cope with the challenges living in a foreign land, in particular understanding local laws relating to families and parenting.
“It is important for parents to be aware of the laws in this country (UK) and to know the boundaries in terms of discipline, religious instruction and other factors,” the organisation said in a statement.
“Some of our children have been taken into care, some are in prison and some are estranged from families. (Uhuru) are hosting a parenting seminar, the first of its kind, to tackle the challenges faced by migrant families, to look at what has gone wrong and how can it be righted.”
Millions of Zimbabweans left the country over the last decade to seek a better life abroad for their families – both the immediate and extended – many settling in the United Kingdom.
But the sacrifice of leaving the familiarity of their country of birth for the supposed “promises of bright lights, plenty of opportunities for work and wealth” in the diaspora was just the first, and perhaps least, of the challenges they would face.
Many Zimbabweans soon realised that the transition would not be seamless and that it actually involved challenges tougher than enduring the 10-hour flight between Harare and London.
“The challenges we faced as immigrants were massive and it is (only) now that we are starting to see and experience the extent and expense of the sacrifices we made by choosing to settle in a foreign land,” said Uhuru.
“For most if not all, the need to survive was all-consuming; finding jobs, finding accommodation, relocating children to join us, adapting to a new culture, a new way of doing things.
“Many families suffered in trying to juggle parenting, adapting to new ways of doing things and working. Most children had to grow up really fast and fend for themselves whilst parents were working.
“Our children were faced with a new freedom but at the same time they were expected to KNOW what to do and what not to do.
“They were faced with new (exciting?) external pressures from friends, the television, and the internet and unfortunately some succumbed to drugs and alcohol and some to crime and gang culture.”Advertisement
A not-for-profit organisation, Uhuru offers practical and spiritual support to long term migrants in the UK and Saturday’s seminar will, among other things, provide support and education to parents struggling with various personal issues which affect their parenting duties.
“Our speakers are a multidisciplinary team who come from the fields of education, teaching, law and social work,” the organisation said.
“There will be professionals that work with children and with migrants … (as well as) input from our religious leaders. Why not come and have your say as well? Knowledge is power; without it we suffer.”
The seminar will be held at the Renewal Family Centre in Solihull, about 9 kilometres southeast of Birmingham city centre in the West Midlands.
For more information text 079 08173105 or 079 56949500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more details visit www.uhuru.org.uk. Tickets are also available at event brite http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/uhuru-parenting-seminar-tickets-12027459455?aff=efblike