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Home  >  News  >  Refugee's Story Turned into Christian Aid Film

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Image: 4-theodor-in-camp-2_cropped.jpg

Refugee's Story Turned into Christian Aid Film

Thursday April 27 2017

Theodor Davidovic in the present day, and right as a young man.

The story of a WW2 refugee who found sanctuary in Scotland has been turned into a powerful new animation by Christian Aid.

The film marks the 60th anniversary of Christian Aid Week and highlights the organisation’s long-term commitment to supporting refugees.

It is based on the story of Theodor Davidovic, who came to Scotland in 1947, and now lives in Fife, where he is a member of Auchterderran Kinglassie Parish Church. Originally from Serbia, he was orphaned as a child and sold into domestic service, eventually joining the resistance movement to fight against Germany. After the war, he found himself in refugee camps in Italy and Germany, but says he never forgot the food parcels he received from Christian Aid. In return, he has supported the charity throughout the entire history of Christian Aid Week.

Aged 22, he escaped the refugee camps and found his way to Scotland. Working initially as a coal miner, at 26 he met his future wife Betty - originally from Kinglassie - in a dancehall in Kirkcaldy. He said ‘when I saw her, my legs went weak’. They married in 1953 and now have two sons and four grandchildren. After running a successful shoe repair business in Edinburgh for 50 years he retired at the age of 76 to become a full-time carer for Betty.

Theodor, who narrated the video aged 91, said: “I came to Scotland as a refugee in 1947 and I am grateful for the sanctuary and safety that I found and I couldn’t have been happier”.

Asked what he thinks about having his life made into an animation, he said: “We’ve had a giggle or two, I say to Betty that she’s married to a film star! The rest of my family haven’t seen the film yet but I’m looking forward to showing it to them”.

 

Theodor has been involved with Christian Aid Week since its beginnings 60 years ago, running local youth club events, barbeques and plant sales to help raise money for the charity. Now in his nineties, he continues to support Christian Aid Week, saying he ‘feels he owes his life to the cause’.

Theodor, who expressed gratitude to the community that welcomed him in, and for the opportunity to help Christian Aid said: “I appeal to all the Christians: your Christianity is not only to come and pray and sing hymns.  It is to put your belief in actions - helping somebody that needs your help and showing love and compassion to the wider world.

“When I was walking in the world as a refugee, there was at least peace in the world but now there is war and it is not people’s fault that they are refugees”.

Sally Foster-Fulton, head of Christian Aid Scotland said: “Christian Aid began as a response from churches in the UK to the refugee crisis after World War II. It began by people loving their neighbours and we will not turn our backs on them now. We are a global family and everyone is precious.

“Theodor's lifelong commitment to loving his neighbour is an inspiration to us all and on this 60th anniversary of Christian Aid Week we celebrate all the people who make our vital work possible. 

“There is so much work still to do. Millions of people still have no safe place to call home - men, women and children - our brothers and sisters - forced to conflict, danger and persecution. This Christian Aid Week we invite people everyone to join us, standing in solidarity and support with refugees and those living in poverty”. 

This year’s Christian Aid Week takes place from May 14-20. For more information visit www.caweek.org


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