6 refugees who are now happy living in the UK


1) Siraje

Siraje was studying mathematics at university in Ethiopia and planned to become a teacher. But he was forced to leave in 2002 before he was due to graduate when the ethnic group to which he belongs, the Oromo, faced persecution and gross human rights violations.

Siraje, his wife and their two children, aged five and one, are now living in Greater Manchester. The family arrived in August 2016 through the UNHCR’s resettlement programme and are being supported by Refugee Action.

Siraje says “Everyone has been very welcoming, which we really appreciate it. Our neighbours are very friendly. I’ve always been interested in medicine, when I was young I wanted to be a doctor. So I think I would like to be a nurse,"

Siraje's story is featured on Refugee Action's website

2) Adnan

Adnan was just 14 when he made up his mind to leave Syria and make his way to Calais – the only chance he had to join his surviving relative, his brother, in the UK

I can’t describe how I felt when I first saw my brother again, after two years. At that moment I felt hugely thankful to Safe Passage UK and everyone who had helped me. I started school a month ago here in Manchester and have started to learn English. The main reason I am enjoying it is because the teachers and other students here treat me with so much kindness.

Adnan's story is featured on the Safe Passage website

3) Fiixaa

Fiixaa left Ethiopia because of 'political issues', but misses his homeland.

Fiixaa is supported by his befriender — Robert — a volunteer through the JCORE's JUMP project providing one-to-one mentorship for young asylum seekers.

Enjoying his time in London, Fiixaa boldly claims 'I know all of London. When I arrived I'd see it on the map, and I'd just walk there. Nowadays he's given up on his urban trekking, becoming a true Londoner converting to buses and tubes.

Story featured in the Londonist. (JUMP is JCORE's befriending project).

4) Patricia

Berthe Patricia Nganga, 44, fled war-torn Congo Brazzaville in 2003 after her family were targeted and killed for their political beliefs. She was granted leave to remain in the UK in August 2011.

‘In 2003 I fled. People were after me because of my husband, so I had to get away. But the Home Office didn’t believe me. It’s so frustrating; as an asylum seeker you’re not allowed to work, you’re not allowed to do full-time courses... it can make you crazy. After spending my first few years in the UK in and out of detention, I came to Glasgow'

'Now I’m free from the Home Office, and I want to continue to help other people.'

Story featured on the Scottish Refugee Council website

5) Jaber Abdullah

Having been sent to live in Barnsley, Abdullah saved £3 from his £30-odd a week benefits, bought a football and started kicking it about in a local park.

It wasn’t long before he was joined by another Sudanese asylum seeker. Within a few months, he had a whole football team - the 'Tigers’'. Their roster had swelled to more than 50 asylum seekers and refugees from Syria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq and Iran, aged between 18 and 40.

As Abdullah approaches two years in immigration limbo – not knowing whether when or even if he will be granted refugee status – his mind remains resolutely fixed on the future for his blossoming Tigers.

Article originally from the Guardian

6) Amal

Before she was forced to flee civil war in Sudan, Amal was studying to be lawyer. But since moving to Britain, she has struggled to get a job related to her education. Amal moved to Leeds six years ago with her four children, aged 16, 13, 11 and eight.

“We moved to the UK because I thought the education here is better here for my children. I want them to be able to go to university and get good jobs they enjoy.”

“I’m happy they are doing very well and they’re going to a very good school now. They have picked up English very quickly.”

Article originally featured on Refugee Action's website.