Refugee week 2019: Wafaa’s story

The theme for this year’s Refugee Week is “You, Me and Those Who Came Before” to consider generations of refugees throughout history. Wafaa has recently joined our Board of Trustees. She is a recent refugee to the UK, having escaped the conflict in Syria. Wafaa and her family now live locally and she is taking the necessary exams so that she can practice in the UK. She kindly shared her story with us.

My name is Wafaa, I am married with two kids. I am a qualified doctor from Syria. I claimed asylum in the UK 4 years ago and got my definite leave to remain just last year. During these years I faced hard times as I left my family and friends behind, and I felt lonely. I do not know anyone in the UK.

I was desperate to be settled again and to start a normal life. There were times where I was almost homeless, penniless and struggling to survive. I just wanted to see my children again. Eventually, I learned that an organisation called Refugees at Home could help me. They arranged accommodation for me in London with one of their hosts, Nicole. They also gave me a lot of support during my studies. That was a huge change in my life.

I cannot thank enough Refugees at Home. I will always be grateful and thankful to them for their help and support. I hope my story helps to acknowledge the importance of these groups of wonderful people and to shed a light on what a big difference they make on someone’s life.

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