Daneal’s Journey: a story of family reunion

The family:

Rasoul = the dad, mid-thirties

Daneal = the son, 9 years old

Nasrin = the mum, mid-thirties

Rozha = the daughter, 10 years old

Malihereza = paternal grandma, mid-seventies

1. Welcome to Brighton….

Daneal, a football fan, went to see Brighton and Hove Albion play in February 2018.

A local supporter of T4K - also a big BHA fan! - secured tickets for him and his dad to attend the match. He provided transport, the team “gear”, and helped them find their seats amongst the 20,000+ crowd. BHA won – and so finally have Daneal and Rasoul, but it’s an ongoing struggle…

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Mobilising The Community

Thousand 4 1000 has been running for three years now. It is a definite success. We have housed over 25 refugees and other forced migrants in that period. We’ve had two babies with a third on the way. Half of those people have moved on from T4K support to the next stage in their journey. Brighton and Hove can be very, very proud of the project.

We need to do more and we need to do it urgently. There are currently three people, two women and one man, who need a room of their own. Both of the women are long-term residents of our city, 13 years and 17 years respectively. Neither have Leave to Remain, although both have been pursuing Leave for a long time. If we didn’t live in such a stupid system, both would have been recognised as refugees when they first arrived. Both of them have been living in houses that their friends have been renting for them. Both have lost their home because the landlord is selling up. They need somewhere else to live and their friends can no longer support them. The man has been one of us for three years. He is another one who should have been recognised as a refugee. He has made a fresh claim for refugee status, but that takes ages and meanwhile he needs somewhere to live.

The Mother of Burtyatia statue, Siberia. A stone statue of a woman making a gesture of welcomeBy Аркадий Зарубин - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22968703

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A Valentine evening with ‘refugees’

A black banner with large white letters spelling 'refugees'. The banner has a rainbow fringe

Whilst most people celebrated a romantic Valentines Day with their partners, around a hundred people gathered at the event ‘Refugee Valentine’ in the evening of this February 14th in Brighton, organised by Sussex Refugee and Migrant Self Support Group, a group of led by migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, to celebrate love and embrace diversity.

Walking into the independent, artist-led bar Rose Hall, I could immediately sense the rich cultural dynamics and warm hospitality. A rainbow-background stage with a big sign ‘Love Refugees’, colorful balloons brightening up the space, and several paintings, done by a local migrant artist, displayed along the wall. Large bowls of home cooked vegan soup and curry were being served and shared among everyone in the spirit of community. People are from various backgrounds and skin colours, with a wide range of ages and sexualities, together celebrating their differences.

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Housing Crisis

Today in the Jollof Cafe two households of newly arrived asylum seekers came looking for housing. All told there were 6 adults (4 women, 2 men), 3 children and 1 unborn baby. They all have strong connections to Brighton and no chance of getting Asylum Seeker Service housing anywhere near hear. Their eligibility for ASS housing precludes them from housing from the council, even if the council had any housing. It's one of the big reasons we set up T4K. Unfortunately we are currently spending all of our monthly income (and a little more) supporting our existing residents and others in need. We don't have a spare £3000/month. Here's how you can help...

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Laptop Wanted

The corner of a laptop on a table

Do you have an old laptop gathering dust? A young asylum seeking man is in need of a computer that he can take with him as he moves around. He wants to prepare his case on it, to learn presentation and design skills, and to practice his English. He also rather likes film and football. Can he have that old laptop? If so you can get in touch through the contact page or facebook. Thank You.

Season of Mists -- T4K September Update

The autumn has arrived, so happy New Year to all Jews, Muslims and Copts. I know that Keats liked the autumn, but I prefer the summer. I prefer it so much that I failed to produce a newsletter in either July or August. I am sorry about that. Just because yours truly was slacking, it does not imply that everybody else was not working very hard (too many negatives?). The big headline news is that we are now just shy of £2500 a month. One thing which we need to do in the New Year is work out how to take a fundraising to the next level because the need is only going to grow.

Even more exciting than the financial data is the belated arrival of the other half of one of the families you have been supporting. The male and the female half of the family are now back together. It’s been a real struggle (although again, one that yours truly has skived off), but finally everybody can start to move on with their lives. It’s not quite over yet. The Home Office have to be persuaded that grandma is an integral part of the family. It is still a major victory. We will put all the details into another newsletter. But thank you all of you who have made it possible.


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Ali comes home

It’s a journey that started 11 years ago with him swimming from Iran to Turkey; a journey which has now, with the community’s support, reached its terminus. Ali, who needed your help to pay the enormous fees on an application for settlement, received his Indefinite Leave to Remain. Finally, a Palestinian from Gaza won the second appeal in his asylum claim. Despite the fact that he comes from a war zone, was a clear target of Hamas, for both political and religious reasons, had met and married a British woman and suffers  from an aggressive version of MS, it took the UK 16 years to decide that he was in need of international protection. It has been an emotional month.

Here's the letter Ali wrote to our supporters to raise money to fight his case.

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Luqman wins the right to live

Dear Luqman Onikosi is the driving force behind the Solidarity supper and many other extraordinary events. After eight years of trying, he has finally won the right to appeal against the Home Secretary’s decision to deport him to his death. Luqman was diagnosed with hepatitis B in the middle of his degree course. His brothers have died of the same disease. There is no treatment available to Luqman in Nigeria.

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A victim of domestic violence is no longer a prisoner in her own home

She met a man. He promised her a new life. She followed him half way round the world to Europe. They had children and the violence started. She knew he had a temper, but perhaps it was her fault. Life in this strange country was bewildering. Perhaps she didn’t cook the food he liked. Perhaps she embarrassed him in front of his friends. Perhaps the children didn’t behave the way he expected. She could never get the hang of it. The abuse got worse.

Of course it wasn’t her fault. She told him that she would leave him. He laughed and said that she couldn’t because they would deport her back home. She had to stay with him if she wanted the kids to grow up in Britain. In the end, she called his bluff and walked out with the kids. She had to keep them safe.

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The Sun is Out

The sun is out. People are dressed up in white and propelling hard spheres of red leather at each other’s heads and legs. Children are parading through the streets. Artists are balancing rocks in impossible combinations. Summer must have arrived and with it the Brighton Festival. If that’s not enough to make you happy, we have extraordinary good news (I’m not referring to the resignation of the Home Secretary because she was too harsh on migrants).

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