Finding hope during the darkest time - Chidi's story

Chidi is a 43-year-old survivor from Cameroon. This is how Freedom from Torture's therapy and Medico-legal services supported him to start healing.

Back home, Chidi lived with his family and worked as a trader, selling clothes. He really enjoyed working and supporting his family. He would have described his home life as normal, until everything changed. It’s still hard for him to talk about what happened, but he had to flee Cameroon and leave his family behind. When he arrived in the UK, he was traumatised by his experiences and really struggling with his mental health.

Most survivors are referred to Freedom from Torture by their GP, but Chidi found us by chance. Living in Manchester, he felt nothing but despair after a suicide attempt. One day, he saw the name “Freedom from Torture” somewhere in Manchester.

He was intrigued, so he read about the help he could receive. “It was like a divine help”, he explains. “Like a message from God, guiding me through this. Without Freedom from Torture, I wouldn’t be here today”.

Chidi wasn’t sure what to expect when he got in touch. “I was not in a good state at all. I’d reached a dead end. Therapy was really hard at the beginning, but I’ve realised it was for my own good”.

“I want to say thank you. An infinite and blessed thank you. I wish you a long life.”

With the help of his therapist, Chidi challenged himself and pushed himself during his sessions so he could start to heal. “My therapist is a good person. She knows her work well. She understood me really well. Since I was born up until now, I don’t think I’ve met someone who could understand me so well, so deeply”.

Alongside therapy, Chidi was able to access other services. He met with a doctor to create a Medico-legal Report to support his asylum claim by providing evidence of his torture, and he received support to buy some clothes. Chidi is so grateful for all the support he has been receiving from generous supporters. 

“Thanks to you, people who are desperate, people who have lost hope or have no life left, are able to find hope again. Your kindness means a lot.”

Please note, Chidi's name has been changed and a model is used in the photograph to protect his identity.

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