A WOMAN who opened up her home to refugees said being a host “changes how you view the world”.

Sojung Kim-McCarthy and her husband Dermot have welcomed four refugees into their Bournemouth house since signing up with organisation Refugees at Home.

The pair began volunteering in 2019 after finding themselves with a spare room, and their current guest has been with them for one month.

Their dog Georgiou is said to have played a "core role" in making the refugees feel at home.

Sojung described her experience as a host as “valuable” and noted a variety of benefits that come with it. 

She told the Daily Echo: “You get to hear their first-hand experiences about being a refugee. It does change how you view the world.

“Myself and my husband are quite interested in history and religion so you get to learn the history of different parts of the world so that’s quite valuable.

“I have to mention food too. We’ve been lucky with our guests - they’ve all been foodies.

“They have loved cooking, and it’s been really nice. You pick up new recipes from each of them, and you get to pass them on to the next guest."

But Sojung said the best part of hosting is not the placement itself, but afterwards, when the refugees send them updates on how their lives are getting better. 

Refugees at Home has helped people like Sojung and Dermot to become hosts, but more are needed.

The charity said three guests are currently in need of placement in Bournemouth but there are no hosts available to take them.

Referrals are also reported to have dramatically increased since last year.

Sara Nathan, co-founder, trustee and host at Refugees at Home, said: “Refugees at Home is really enthusiastic about hosting more people in the Bournemouth area and just needs more generous hots in order to do so.

"Hosting is such a positive experience and such a good way of integrating society and enabling new refugees to move on into their lives here, that we always want to do more.”

For more information about becoming a host visit refugeesathome.org