13 photos show a heartwarming welcome waiting for refugees in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland is welcoming its new Syrian residents home with arms wide open.

The U.K. is accepting 20,000 Syrian refugees throughout the next five years as part of its Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme, as BBC News reported. And on Dec. 15, 2015, the very first group of 11 families (51 individuals) arrived in Belfast.

From the looks of it, the families received quite the warm welcome.


Because, as is the case when welcoming any new neighbors to your 'hood, there's a few things you should provide, like...

1. Welcome signage.

There's nothing better than a colorful sign to let you know you've finally arrived.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

In this case, the sign was in the special welcome center in Belfast, where the families will be staying until they find more permanent homes.

2. Cozy sleeping quarters are vital too.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

Pro tip: A splash of color on one wall can only help brighten someone's day. (And if anyone's day could use a little brightening, it's someone whose life has been uprooted by war.)

3. And cards. Cute greeting cards are mandatory.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

These were made by local schoolchildren, excited to welcome and greet their new neighbors.

4. ... Seriously, you can never have too many cards.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

5. Also, make sure the fridge is kept stocked.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

These refugees lived in unstable, dangerous circumstances, waiting for some permanence and safety for months (sometimes, even years). They deserve a cold drink.

And make sure the clocks are ticking accurately, too.

6. And have holiday decorations on display.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

I mean, even if you don't celebrate Christmas, I think anyone can appreciate a festive Christmas tree.

7. That includes this adorable Christmas angel.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

Let's say it together: Awww.

8. Don't forget to have plenty of seating available.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

(OK maybe a little more seating for the next round of guests.)

9. Especially couch seating with soft pillows. (Yes, please.)

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

For folks who've traveled thousands of miles to make it to the U.K., a comfy seat goes a long way.

10. And, of course, useful kits that cover the basics.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

Emergency multilingual phrasebook? Check.

For families who've had everything stripped away from them, little things, like soap and toothbrushes — things many of us take for granted — are much appreciated.

11. And toys.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

12. ... Lots and lots of toys.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

13. Just like with cute greeting cards, you can never have too many toys.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

After all, playing games and being creative may just help children find relief after they've seen the brutal effects of war.

What these families have been through is unimaginable. They need our help.

There are more than 4.3 million Syrian refugees who've been severely affected by conflict in their country according to the UNHCR. That's why — instead of banning Muslims from entering the U.S. out of fear, or building walls to keep immigrants out — we should be finding ways to aid those most affected by terrorism in the Middle East.

(By the way, if you want to help a refugee child in need, here's one way you can do it.)

I gotta hand it to those folks over in Belfast — they know how to be neighborly.

They must have taken a hint from Canada.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

More

If you're a woman and you want to be a CEO, you should probably think about changing your name to "Jeffrey" or "Michael." Or possibly even "Michael Jeffreys" or "Jeffrey Michaels."

According to Fortune, last year, more men named Jeffrey and Michael became CEOs of America's top companies than women. A whopping total of one woman became a CEO, while two men named Jeffrey took the title, and two men named Michael moved into the C-suite as well.

The "New CEO Report" for 2018, which looks at new CEOS for the 250 largest S&P 500 companies, found that 23 people were appointed to the position of CEO. Only one of those 23 people was a woman. Michelle Gass, the new CEO of Kohl's, was the lone female on the list.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

How much of what we do is influenced by what we see on TV? When it comes to risky behavior, Netflix isn't taking any chances.

After receiving a lot of heat, the streaming platform is finally removing a controversial scenedepicting teen suicide in season one of "13 Reasons Why. The decision comes two years after the show's release after statistics reveal an uptick in teen suicide.

"As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one," Netflix said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

At Trump's 'Social Media Summit' on Thursday, he bizarrely claimed Arnold Schwarzenegger had 'died' and he had witnessed said death. Wait, what?!


He didn't mean it literally - thank God. You can't be too sure! After all, he seemed to think that Frederick Douglass was still alive in February. More recently, he described a world in which the 1770s included airports. His laissez-faire approach to chronology is confusing, to say the least.

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

Words matter. And they especially matter when we are talking about the safety and well-being of children.

While the #MeToo movement has shed light on sexual assault allegations that have long been swept under the rug, it has also brought to the forefront the language we use when discussing such cases. As a writer, I appreciate the importance of using varied wording, but it's vital we try to remain as accurate as possible in how we describe things.

There can be gray area in some topics, but some phrases being published by the media regarding sexual predation are not gray and need to be nixed completely—not only because they dilute the severity of the crime, but because they are simply inaccurate by definition.

One such phrase is "non-consensual sex with a minor." First of all, non-consensual sex is "rape" no matter who is involved. Second of all, most minors legally cannot consent to sex (the age of consent in the U.S. ranges by state from 16 to 18), so sex with a minor is almost always non-consensual by definition. Call it what it is—child rape or statutory rape, depending on circumstances—not "non-consensual sex."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture