International Care Network (ICN) started with a plea for help in 1999 from a group of 25 Kosovans who had fled from the terrors of war back home. They came to a local school requesting English lessons. In response English lessons were provided, as well as much needed clothes, food, accommodation and advice.
These Kosovans were just the tip of the iceberg – within a few months ICN was inundated with cries for help from hundreds of individuals fleeing trauma and tragedy in a variety of countries, especially war-torn countries. So in 2003 a local charity, ICN, was formed to address the growing and long-term needs of this refugee community through the application of professional skills, sustained projects and programmes, and befriending.
ICN now works with many individuals or family members annually to help them rebuild their lives, walking supportively with them on the pathway towards becoming settled, healthy, hopeful and integrated members of the local community – or where safe and appropriate assisting them in their return home.
We continue to support refugees from many countries. Today the largest community groups locally are Iranians, Syrians, Kurds (from Iraq, Iran), Afghans, Tibetans and Zimbabweans. The majority of our referrals come by word-of-mouth, as well as from local organisations and agencies.