In 1972 Idi Amin ordered the expulsion of all Asian minorities. The troops had raided a close village and my grandparents heard about the violence that was taking place. My grandad finally convinced my granny to leave and they fled to the airport. They arrived in the UK with nothing but the clothes on their back and two gold coins my granny stitched on my dad’s belt, he was 11 years old. My grandad got by with his broken English and got a job in accountancy. Fast forward 48 years my grandparents and parents have provided me and my brother with everything we ever needed. I’ve worked and lived in three European cities and although I don’t look English, it’s only by luck that I am. I’m the first generation from a refugee family, I’ve only recently come to understand the impact of this sentence and how different my life could have been since I started working in Concern. Today there’s a generation of displaced children who have made the painstaking journey to safety, they’ve felt and seen things that no children should have to see. When they arrive at camps their life is nothing like it was before. They no longer have access to education and in some cases end up looking after their younger siblings or trying to find work to help support the family.
Concern Worldwide knows how important education is, not only to develop mentally but emotionally as well. Working with local and national level government authorities Concern programmes help children through education, livelihoods and protection activities. I won’t be happy until every child has the same opportunity as my parents did or I did – that’s why I work for Concern.
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