This blog post is written by a member of Refugees Call for Change. Refugees Call for Change is a group of people with experience of the asylum system advocating for change in the asylum system, supported by the Jesuit Refugee Service UK.
Sometimes I regret coming to this country, I was escaping a dangerous situation in my home country, but I am not living any better here. Yes, I escaped danger, but I have no home, I do not feel safe, and I am unable to work. Sometimes I walk on the streets, and I start to feel dizzy, and I call my friend and I tell her that I think I am going crazy. I miss my children, life here is not any better. I do not know what my children are doing back home or if they have food on the table or if they are even alive. If I was allowed to work in this country, I would have provided them with food, but I am not allowed to work. I am not allowed to do anything here. I keep thinking a lot, thinking, and thinking and feeling like I am going mad, I cannot sleep at night.
Before I came here, people told me that life here is amazing and that I will be safe. They told me that I will be able to have dignity and work. They were wrong, life here is worse, it’s like I am alive but dead inside. Sometimes I wish I was back in my home country and that I would just die with my children. Sometimes I just want to end up my life, but I stop because I think of my children, and I think of God and that I should be hopeful.
Sometimes I think of my children and if I ever will get the chance to reunite with them, I can only dream about it and imagine it, hoping that it will manifest into reality in the future. There are no words that could describe how happy I would be to see my children and hold them. My life will improve a hundred percent if I get my legal status. I will be able to have a normal life, work, rent, and live in a safe place. I have been homeless for 2 years and kicked out of so many places when my case was refused. I slept on buses and on the street. The worse thing that happened in my life was when my application was refused for the third time, and when they kicked me out of the hotel that they put me in. I had no belongings, and I had no money. I tried to ask for help but I was told that all I can do is stand on the street and the authorities might take me to a place to a homeless shelter.
If I see the UK prime minister, I will ask him if he is a father- what would he do if he is separated from his children? Being separated from your children is the worst feeling, it is indescribable. I will then ask him to help me reunite with my children.
I always remember my journey to the UK, it was very difficult, I had to go through so much pain coming here and when I came here nothing changed. I have been in the UK for 6 years. I have applied for asylum, and I was refused 3 times, and when I applied for an appeal, I was refused too. Every time I speak to the home office about my situation, I feel like they are making excuses to prove that I’m lying about my case. They always tell me that my evidence is not enough. My mental health has gotten worse in the past few years. It is also hard to get a doctor’s appointment as a refugee, I feel no one can help me.
Several months ago, I was homeless, I told a friend about my story, and she told me about Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). They saved me from homelessness, they provided me with shelter and now I live at Emilie house. JRS has helped me in many ways, they specialise in helping destitute refugees who are unable to get help from the government after their case is refused.
Since I joined JRS, I took ESOL classes and improved my English. I love learning English, I taught myself by watching lots of movies and speaking English to my friends. I also joined the acupuncture classes at JRS. I used to have a difficult time going to sleep but after I took the sessions, I slept like a baby. I am so happy and thankful that my friends told me about JRS, and my life has improved a bit now.
My dream is to get approval for my papers and get legal status. I want to work and be valuable in society and support my children back home. I want to have a normal life. Even though things have been so hard, I still have hope that things for me will change for the better and I have hope in God’s mercy. I want to tell my story to the world so that people know what asylum seekers face in the UK, and maybe my voice will reach government officials and they will start thinking about the decisions that they are making.
Currently, I am planning to apply again for asylum with the help of my lawyer. I have given her all the papers and she is helping me to prepare my application. I am hopeful and I will always be. I believe that things happen at the right time, and after all I have been through, I will never give up.
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Thank you for sharing and may your new application for asylum be approved and your rights upheld. You have named it, what refugees need everywhere to have a chance:
“My life will improve a hundred percent if I get my legal status. I will be able to have a normal life, work, rent, and live in a safe place.”