Anyone can become an asylum seeker; you just don’t think it can happen to you.
I came to the UK because it is safe, and I speak English. It’s a fair country, and I knew I’d have a chance here. Last week I got my refugee status after two years of waiting, and today I picked up my card!
I grew up in Uganda. There are four of us in my family, and my father died when I was quite young so my mother brought us up. I went to a good school in Kampala with a lot of international students. That’s where my love of language began. I speak six languages: English, Arabic, Japanese, Swahili, Kikuyu, Taita, Portuguese, and some Chinese. French and German are next on my list to learn now I have asylum.
Overall I did well in school. I went to university in Nairobi to study cyber security management, and I got a good job when I finished. Everything was fine, but then something really bad happened, and I had to leave. I cannot talk about that, it is too hard. My journey here was also very traumatic and I cannot bear to think about.
Being an asylum seeker is difficult. After you’re processed you’re given a room, a duvet, a mattress, and a few cooking utensils, nothing else.
For two years I lived on £37 a week. It’s hard, but you just have to do it. If you have a roof over your head and somewhere to sleep you will survive.
What reality helped was when I was in a hotel last year, and I met a wonderful woman called Pauline. She was outside our hotel in Runcorn one night. She had brought things for the refugees in the hotel, and I talked with her, and I’ve been helping her ever since. She is my friend now.
Now with my card I can start my life again. I’ll wait to see where God takes me, but there are so many things I’d like to do. I’d quite like to be a nurse, as I really like helping people.
I cannot talk about the past. I wish I could erase it. But please understand how much I love my country and the family I left.
And please be kind to refugees; you do not know what we have had to leave behind us.
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