I first came to the UK in 2006. It was very difficult in Zimbabwe, the people who were supposed to help you would attack you. It was difficult to know who to trust. It was very, very difficult. My wife and child got their leave to remain in the UK very quickly but I didn’t and we had to live separately for many years. We have had another child whilst we have been here. I had to wait seven and a half years for my temporary visa and another two years for my indefinite leave to remain.
What you are going through for these years is very, very stressful. Nothing went well with the Home Office, my case went on and on with a negative answer. They demanded so many things which was very hard. If you are an asylum seeker, you don’t have rights, so what can you do? It’s all about staying at home, they give you vouchers, and you bring some food to feed yourself. You just sit there, then go and report at the reporting centre. That is your life. I went to college and did Access levels 1 and 2, but after that you have to pay and have 5 years leave to remain, so I had to stay home. It’s so stressful to stay for a long time without an answer.
The Unit have played a very big role in my life. For any solicitor to make a fresh claim they need money. If you are not allowed to work in this country, if you are not allowed to go to university, if you are not allowed to travel, where do you think you are going to get the money? I couldn’t have managed financially without GMIAU.
My solicitor has been efficient. She has done a very good job of fighting for my rights and appealing against inappropriate decisions. She has been fighting right up to the end. At last she had a smile. So I was very happy.
Now I can have a holiday, I can work and do anything I want to. I am free and don’t have that stress.
I am lucky because I had my wife and friends through my church to give me support. Now my family is together again. I have a permanent job as a mental health support worker which is ok as a job, but very challenging. We are struggling like everyone else due to the economic climate but we can’t complain because it’s the same for others.
I feel at home here but it is not home. What worries me now is that my children have spent most of their time here, so what is home for them is different. It is up to them to make their own life.
I am proud and happy for my children to have access to better education. That is what I wished for the most. I want my children to get a degree so that they have better career and pay opportunities. My children are my life. Whatever I have got, I have my kids. I have to look after them and I wish them to do very well.
I am concerned about what is still happening in my country, violation of human rights is still going on. I worry about my friends and family. I don’t know when justice will happen. Zimbabwe is my country and my home. If things settled there I would like to return and be at home.