There are currently 1,700 children in the UK on their own seeking protection. They have fled some of the most dangerous places in the world, countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, where civilians are killed daily in ongoing fighting. This project will give children their childhood back by running well being and learning activities like outdoor adventure days and having a friendly face to help understand the asylum process, where to live, how to get into school and what their human rights are.
Often young unaccompanied asylum seekers have experienced difficult lives with minimal education at home as well as traumatic journeys to the UK. Just imagine having to leave your home, family and sense of security. When they arrive in the UK, the children face more difficulties, including emotional and mental health issues from past trauma, little English and no understanding of the asylum process. Often they have no documents to prove they're still children.
Refugee Action's aim is that young people will feel welcome, respected and safe in the UK. This project will fund activities to break down the barriers that unaccompanied young asylum seekers face, including key life skills like learning how to cook, outward bound trips learning how to work together as a team and help with English. There will be people to support them emotionally and to liaise with the right people who will help them through the asylum process.
The project will help at least 30 young people each year to feel respected and therefore able to contribute to their communities in the future by studying, volunteering on local projects and eventually finding their first job. Most importantly, it will help them to feel safe again. The partnership work with other services means that the eventually the project could be rolled out across the country to benefit more young unaccompanied asylum seekers.