You probably don’t realise it, but your support matters so much to people in situations like mine.
My name is Shawn*, and I am a refugee currently seeking asylum in the UK. Having friends like you by my side is vital, and I’m thankful for the care and accompaniment you provide through the Jesuit Refugee Service UK.
You might find it hard to believe, but it was way back in 2010 that I first applied for asylum.
I fled my homeland after receiving death threats from a key political figure. I can’t say too much; it’s complicated. But for 13 years, I’ve been in the asylum system. Lodging appeals. Waiting for decisions. Shunted around the country, from a detention centre to hostels.
Imagine spending 13 years of your life unable to work, settle down or even have a bank account. I used to be a carer, and I just want to work and give back to society, but it’s not allowed.
Do you know the worst moment for me? When the Home Office withdrew accommodation, I didn’t have anywhere to go so I lived on the streets. Or I slept on the back seat of night buses until morning. When you are hungry, what can you do? I had to beg for food.
I’m classed as ‘Appeals Rights Exhausted’ so I don’t receive any public support. (People in this situation often do eventually get permission to stay, but only after years of legal limbo).
It’s hard to explain how much your care and kindness means to me. Your support keeps people off the streets, keeps people sane, and helps people out of depression.
That’s why your kindness and compassion really count. I wish you could come to the JRS UK centre and see how your gift this Lent will help.
One day, when I’m finally out of this situation, I want to help other people going through this. For now, I hope you will keep standing alongside me and other refugee friends.
I’m so thankful for people like you, who choose to accompany refugees. Please pray for me, for peace and wellbeing this Lent. And I wish you a joyful Easter.
Thank you so much.
At the JRS UK Shop, people can choose from a range of healthy fresh food, clothes, and toiletries, free of charge. Your donation provides essential items, as well as allowing choice and dignity, for around 120 people a month.
Your donations help to ensure the JRS UK team are always there to help with accommodation, legal advice, and other support.
You can also help JRS UK to provide a hardship grant of £20 every two weeks. This money is used to buy food, pay for travel to medical and legal appointments, and do laundry.