“My name is Asmat and I’m from Afghanistan. I been in England for almost five years now. When I came to England I couldn’t speak English very well and I decided to improve my English first because if my English is good so everybody can understand me so I can tell my stories, talk about my culture, traditions, journey, etc. Therefore I started reading the books, dictionaries, newspaper, internet every single thing was possible I did it to improve it and the result is what you are reading now! Although it’s not proper formal but still readable and I’m still trying to improve it more.
I work at a store, but I really want to go to college. My subject is IT. But what I would really love to be is an actor. I have so many stories, I hear so many stories from other young people like me. Who is going to believe them? Its better if you can tell it in a drama.
I love the film ‘Life of Pi’, because he is so brave in that film. I watched it a lot of times. Human beings have to be strong, we don’t know what will happen to us. And guys like us have so many hidden stories. I think this site will be a good place where people can share their stories so everyone can know what happened to us.
I was lucky, when I was eighteen the Home Office understood my case and they gave me five years to stay here. But three of those years are gone. I don’t know what I will do when the next two years are up. I am just finding out who I am, who I can be.“
At the age of 18, these young people who have lived their formative years in safety here, are sent a letter from the Home Office saying they must make arrangements to leave the UK. Most arrived without the countless documents and proofs needed to gain asylum; they have one last chance at appeal which most fail. Now, cut off from the support they were offered (school, social care, safe place to live) and not allowed to work or even do volunteer work, they become desperate as they wait in fear for the midnight raids, and forced detention and deportation.
C is from Burundi. She has lost all her family except one brother who was in the Army. She has just heard that he has died too. She contemplates what she will do if her last Appeal is refused.
HA talks about having to sign at the Home Office every week, and how scared that makes him. He can’t run away because he has ‘nowhere to go.’ Then he is forcibly detained and later removed from Colnbrook Detention Centre in the middle of the night, to the cargo terminal of an airport.
MM is scared for his friend and room-mate K who barricades himself at night against the Home Office raids, and is suicidal. Neither of them sleep well. The stress of the Home Office night time raids is hard to overcome.
MM says he left Afghanistan came to UK as a ‘peace land.’ He tallks how difficult it is for young men from his culture to grow up here without guidance from their own families, how to make the right decision.
Z, from Afghanistan, tells how he was forcibly picked up by UKBA in the middle of the night, taken to detention and was within hours of being deported- which would have been unlawful as he hadn’t yet had his court appeal at 18. After intervention he was released, but has waited years since then for a proper decision on his status.