I could have entitled this post ‘Where is there hope?’, ‘Is there hope?’
Well, folks, I just want to put it out there. There should always ALWAYS be hope.
Anne Frank said it – “Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”
Today I have spent some time on the phone with an asylum seeker who is losing hope. His claim has been rejected; the country from which he is fleeing is not readily known about (like Sudan, Syria, Eritrea…) and so the ignorance of the Home Office is denying him sanctuary from a criminal and dangerous organisation that will find him and kill him if he returns to that country.
He is about to be evicted from the room in the house provided to him, he is about to lose his benefits, he is about to disappear off the radar, become destitute, illegal (how can anyone ‘BE’ illegal!?!?!) and, in the face of all this, he sends me a whatsapp message reading, “I prefer to die than be humiliated”.
So we spoke on the phone and I have tried to reassure him that, no matter how bad it gets, he has to live in hope that tomorrow there will be some good news, that something will change and he can start the new chapter of his life here that he deserves (and us Britons will get the benefit of as he is a hard worker, intelligent, kind and has many skills).
I am learning that there is a fine line between absolute despair and a tiny ray of hope, and I see it as my job now to keep that little spark alive for him in the coming days.
Thanks to ToastLoveCoffee, he will always have somewhere warm to be, a job to do, people to talk with, a coffee to drink and something to eat. Thanks to WYDAN (West Yorkshire Destitute Asylum Network) he will always have a bed to sleep on. Thanks to the TLC Discretionary Fund, he will always have access to a little bit of money to buy what he may need day to day (if you’d like to donate, please find the link on the website).
These may be dark days / months ahead for our friend, but we are going to be there to try to fill him with fresh courage and make him strong again.