“Playing football helps me to feel happy”: a survivor's story this Refugee Week
This #RefugeeWeek2019, we’re featuring a survivor’s story a day so you can learn about the experiences of a variety of people who have survived torture as they try to rebuild their lives here in the UK. We’ll be hearing about stories of Home Office and asylum support challenges as well as stories about the threat of detention and hopes for the future.
Blog by Roger*
My name is Roger and I would like to share my story with you. I came to the UK so that I could feel safe because I was no longer safe in my home country.
When I came to this country I didn’t know many people except for a friend who met me at the airport and helped me to contact the Home Office. At that time, my friend was the only person I knew. But now I am grateful because I know many people. Since my first arrival in the UK, I have been able to rebuild my life with the support of Freedom from Torture, other charities, and my church members. I go to church every Sunday and my church members are very good people; they have helped me to stay strong.
Life is not easy for me right now because I am still dealing with the Home Office. I have received refusals on my asylum application. I have met with judges and now I am submitting a new application. I am hopeful with my new case because I now receive a lot of support from Freedom from Torture.
Back in my country, I was a very good worker. You know that you have to support yourself; you have to work for your betterment. If you do nothing, you are nothing! When things get better and I am granted asylum I hope to work in the transport sector; this is my dream.
My life would be easier if I was allowed to work. I’m sad because my first intention was never to stay without doing something. Back in my country, I was a very good worker. You know that you have to support yourself; you have to work for your betterment. If you do nothing, you are nothing! When things get better and I am granted asylum I hope to work in the transport sector; this is my dream. I held a very big position in my home country; this was my speciality.
Playing football helps me to feel happy. I even showed my football coach a few tricks he had never seen before. I can play in any position. I get to meet kind people who I can talk to and share my life experiences with.
Playing football helps me to feel happy. I am a very good footballer for my age. I even showed my football coach a few tricks he had never seen before. I can play in any position. I support Arsenal football team because Arsenal supports me. I get to meet kind people who I can talk to and share my life experiences with. With my experience here I would like to thank Freedom from Torture supporters, but I can say I need more support because as an asylum seeker I have nothing. Because the Home Office only support me with £37 a week. If you divide £37 for 7 days you only get about £5 a day. No one can live on £5 a day!
Still, my hope for the future is very great because I never give up.
*The name has been changed to protect Roger's identity
We want to make as much noise as we can this Refugee Week because we want to live in a country that is certain torture is always wrong. A place that believes in compassion and fairness. A place that welcomes people who have survived torture.
If you share this vision, stay tuned for our social media activity and sign the declaration to make the UK #ASafePlace this Refugee Week.
The UK has a proud tradition of offering safety to people fleeing torture and persecution. But times are uncertain and these values are under threat. It's time to take a stand. Will you sign our declaration and join us?