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These Schoolchildren Have Welcomed Refugees To Northern Ireland With Toys And Cards

This is the first time Northern Ireland is taking part in a programme to resettle refugees.

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The UK will accept 51 Syrian people from Lebanese refugee camps today under the government's Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme. Eleven of them are children younger than 5 years old.

This is the first group of Syrian refugees to be settled in Northern Ireland.

Details of the welcome centre will not be made public, to give the refugees privacy as they adjust to their new surroundings.

In their initial days, they will be given a series of legal and medical briefings to explain how the health system and judiciary operates.

Denise Wright, coordinator of the Refugee Asylum Forum, told the BBC the group had been "completely inundated" with the number of cards it had received but asked people to send in more.

She said that although many people had offered help in the form of buggies and clothes, cards helped to create a welcome atmosphere for the refugees.

The government will help each of the 10 families find somewhere to live and work, and school places will be found for the children. The Home Office will spend at least £10,000 on each refugee for the first year they are in the UK.

On 7 September, David Cameron increased the Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme and said the UK would welcome 20,000 people to the country in the next five years.

Unlike other schemes for Syrian refugees across Europe, the VPR scheme focuses on giving help to the most vulnerable refugees from the region.

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

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