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Omar and Saskia were a young refugee couple who fled Iraq to find safety here in the UK. They had nothing but each other and the clothes on their backs.

They waited a long and gruelling 18 months before they were finally granted refugee status in the UK. It was during those 18 months that Saskia found out she was pregnant and gave birth while living in Home Office accommodation.

At this point they were put into contact with us here at Concrete which is where they began their journey from asylum seekers to refugees.

Jez, Concrete’s Refugee, Asylum, Migration Support Lead, helped the now young family to support themselves in the UK by helping them to source, a bank account, an income and a place to live.
As the family settles into their new property, Jez will continue to provide support. He’ll make sure they are financially stable and able to pay their household bills, help to find white goods and furniture to really make the place feel like home.

Omar and Saskia are really grateful for the support from Jez and say: “It’s so good to have this support – we would never have been able to sort everything out by ourselves, especially with a young baby. We cannot thank you enough.”

Today is the United Nations World Refugee Day in light of the pandemic and the recent anti-racism protests, this year’s theme #EveryActionCounts plans to unite all to fight for a more inclusive and equal world for all.

So today we celebrate refugees, their stories and their journeys – especially those who so willingly fight on the frontline to protect us against Covd-19.

“I’ve supported 30 individuals/families during the pandemic.” Says Jez

“It’s not always easy to understand the life of an asylum seeker or a refugee because our world is often so different to theirs’. But the more we try to listen to their stories and step into their shoes, the more our hearts and eyes can be opened.

“The more we break down the ‘us and them’ mentality the more we will be able to see just a human being in need. It’s only then can we can understand that it’s our responsibility as fellow human beings to show kindness and hospitality.”

“We all have our own struggles, but it’s very unlikely that we’ll ever experience anything like what is experienced by those seeking asylum.”

If you’ve come to the UK and are looking for a home and safety, you don’t have to go it alone. We’re here to provide advice and guidance to connect you with a concrete future. Get in touch at [email protected] or call 0330 0945 558.

*names changed to protect identity

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