In this blog, Gulli, Mika, Mirfat, Rebin and Zak* (Young Researchers) write about why they are involved in CCoM and some of the emerging themes. It is addressed to different audiences: young asylum seekers, refugees and migrants AND everyone else. It is a blog made up of two conversations.
We are young people who are asylum seekers and refugees. But we are more than that. We are students, interpreters, helpers, carers, advisers and researchers. We are humans. One day one of us will be a famous person, a teacher, a female pilot, an engineer, a lawyer, a footballer, a business owner… Every one of us has a different dream. We can have bright futures, but the system is broken down. It is so hard to change the system.
We do this research because we care about other young people. We want to find out about who cares about young people and how they care. We are young people in the same situation. The research project gives us the possibility to help other young people by helping people hear our voice and express how young people feel. We want to share our ideas. We are doing research to find out about our rights so we can help other young people to know what their rights are. We are doing the research to help other young people survive and succeed.
Conversation 1: Advice for other young people who are asylum seekers and refugees
We’ve been talking about some of the ways young people support each other:
- We care for each other, help each other.
- Other young people showed us around and welcomed us when we first arrived. They helped us find friends. They cooked for us.
- We help interpret for others as they are in the same situation as us. We are from the same place and culture.
- We tell our stories and share our stories.
As young people, we would like to advise other young people:
- Be strong.
- Don’t be shy. Ask people for what you need. Don’t give up.
- You can change things if you ask for help and advice. The best way is to speak to charities that support young people on the move.
- But you can also ask other young people in the same situation. They can help you, advise you and support you.
Conversation 2: For everyone else
We’ve been talking about the fact that there is a lack of support for young refugees and asylum seekers, and a lot of promises that are broken.
We’ve been wondering why it is so different whichever social services you are with. Some give you lots of help, others give you nothing.
People who work with young people should do it properly and not discriminate. They need to be honest, responsible, and – most importantly – care.
People blame us without reason and don’t understand that we are not taking people’s jobs and that we don’t have the same rights. It is so hard for us to access education. It should be free. As asylum seekers, we can’t work.
We still need care and help, even when we turn 18. It’s not fair. We are still young people. We may still not speak English. We still need help through the asylum journey. We need support. It’s not our fault we are asylum seekers or that we are over 18.
One of us says: I am worried about my future. I am worried about other young people’s future. I am chasing my dream, but I am finding it very, very hard. I need your help and support. I am talking to the government and to people who don’t know me.
The system isn’t fair.
We have dreams and ambitions, but the system breaks your hope and ambitions.
Back to Conversation 1: To all other young refugees and asylum seekers
You need to be strong.
Don’t be hopeless.
Don’t give up.
We are human.
We are all from different countries, but we are all the same. We are all from your country now. We can help you.
Together we’ll not struggle, we’ll thrive.
* All the names in this blog were chosen by the Young Researchers.