My name is Farid. Refugee Action asked me to share my story with you to raise awareness of vulnerable refugees who find themselves completely alone in the UK.
I come from just outside Kabul in Afghanistan. When I was 13 I said goodbye to everything I knew. My mum told me my life was in danger, and I had to leave and travel thousands of miles to a safe place. I was what you call a lone child refugee.
A group of us took on the journey together. We would walk, exhausted, from morning until night. We faced gunfire and were handed from person to person. I never felt safe.
When I eventually ended up in the UK, suddenly I was alone. It was 10 o’clock at night and I was left to go to the police station. I’d been through extreme hardship and seen horrible things, but that night was the worst, because I realised that from now on I was on my own. The loneliness was overwhelming. No child should ever have to feel that way.
Refugee Action want to tackle loneliness and isolation by improving access to English classes, providing welcome services to help people settle in, and special projects to help lonely children.
I’m now studying social work at university and working with my local council to support other young refugees. I tell them, don’t be silent. There is always a way forward.
Thank you for listening to my story, and for supporting Refugee Action. With your help, we can ensure no refugee ever has to feel alone.