‘Bless the teachers!‘
Faith would love to work with children, but reckons being a teacher looks so difficult these days! She can’t work at all, however, because the Home Office has been processing her Leave to Remain application for almost two years, and she hasn’t even had an acknowledgement from them.
She’s lived in Colchester for a long time, and it’s where her son was born five years ago. Evan goes to school in Braiswick and he loves Go Bananas and the awesome play area in Castle Park. Evan’s father is a mental health nurse who loves his family, but it’s upsetting for Faith that they are unable to legally marry – marriage is extremely important in her Zimbabwean culture, but it’s not possible while her passport and ID papers are being withheld.
In 2007, Faith had her asylum application rejected and then spent two years living in a housing support project in Coventry as Zimbabwe’s political situation got more dangerous. She moved to Colchester to live with her sister and liked how clean and quiet it is – she also remarks at how friendly people are. Although church here is more boring than in Africa, so she usually prays alone…and she’s rather baffled by the terraced houses ‘all sticking together in a row! I’m used to bungalows and space!’.
Refugee Action-Colchester has helped Faith access Maths and English courses by providing a letter to explain her situation. But she won’t be able to do any further study until her immigration status is resolved – her partner and son are British, but she’s living in limbo. It’s worrying and frustrating not knowing what will happen.
Faith is grateful for the support she’s had from Refugee Action-Colchester, which has provided useful information and access to legal advice. She says the organisation, and particularly Maria, is so friendly and caring – she’s not sure how the team can be there for so many people and still keep smiling!
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