During the last year, I’ve shared a variety of person stories on my blog. These include Zoe Mitchell hiking to raise funds as well as my own effort to fund-raising via a 100 km bike ride.
World events have of course had a global impact. When Kabul fell to the Taliban last August, the implications for people I know was huge. People struggled to contact family members as No Name Kitchen and other organisations hurried to fill out forms with a hope these might lead to evacuation. Of the people left behind - women face unique and dreadful consequences.
17th March 2022. European Union. No Name Kitchen has always been very clear about the solution to the so-called ‘refugee crisis’: providing legal routes for people to escape their war-torn countries and seek asylum in a safe place, as well as for migrants in general.
“The war in Ukraine, which has caused the displacement of many people to neighboring countries, has shown us that, as terrible as it is to leave your home and be separated from your family in search of a safe haven, the process can be done in a kind and speedy way in order to avoid suffering as much as possible.”
Zac’s story - of the heart-break of being denied asylum in a country he had grown to call home.
"A sad story that flows like a river all over the world, a story that all human beings are familiar with, a story that has no end, migration.”
Wahid and Aziz have become a fixture in my life since 2020. The boys from Afghanistan are both settling into life as teenagers in the UK and Germany respectively. It was an honour to have their story published in the anthology Refugees From Eden which you can buy here.
Sadly, for adults claiming asylum, the wheels and cogs of the system grind devastatingly slowly. In my letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel, I told the story of how Mohammed had suffered during his time. 2 years after arriving, Mohammed is still waiting, struggling with mental health, always waiting.
“Dear Priti Patel,
I am writing to you about my friend Mohammed. He is an asylum seeker from Sudan and is currently experiencing the indignity of the British asylum system.”
"I was sitting at the restaurant across the road from the Sedra Camp when I first met Sahar in the summer of 2020. A small woman in vibrant clothing walked the short distance from the camp gates slowly. Her warm smile was shy at first, cautious of meeting strangers. We had a small chat about the weather and the camp as we waited for the drinks. I say small talk, but we lacked a common language almost entirely. It’s amazing what can be communicated with no words at all."
There will never be a “solution” to the “migration issue”. People move around the planet that we all share. I was absolutely disgusted that the flight from the UK to Rwanda nearly happened. By sharing stories I hope to convince people around me that migration is not a crime and that kindness should always be the first priority.
Please share this round-up with someone you know. Perhaps someone who you think wouldn’t be that interested in “the refugee situation” but who is open to listening. And as always, comments are welcome below.