How do you get out of it when you had to give up everything? How to move forward in a country whose culture we do not know and whose language we do not understand well? This is what Helal Atayee, an Afghan refugee in the United Kingdom, had to face. The Times dedicates this video portrait to him.
They were a doctor, lawyer, or journalist, and they had to leave their country to stay alive. Forced to start all over again, the refugees who confided in the British newspaper The Times have received support from the British organization Refugee Council. Helal Atayee, an Afghan refugee, is one of them. The daily devotes a video portrait to him, in which he testifies:
I wouldn’t have come to this without the help of the Refugee Council. I was worried about whether I would be able to continue practicing medicine. This was my concern, as I did not know how it worked at all. They were like a light that guided me, so that I follow this path and arrive at my destination.”
Video of pQ1d0olTm9Q
The doctor arrived in the UK in 2012. He had to leave Afghanistan because his life was threatened there for working with the British Army. Once there, he knew very little about the culture of the country: it was then that friends advised him to turn to the Refugee Council. The organization funded him not only for English lessons, but also for the exams he had to pass to be able to practice in the United Kingdom.
13,000 refugees supported
In addition to providing financial assistance, the association also helps refugees traumatized by leaving their native country. This is the case of Hossain Saeedi, 37, also from Afghanistan. Political attaché at the British embassy in Kabul, he and his family had to flee his country when the Taliban arrived: “Thanks to the Refugee Council, he was able to benefit from psychological support designed for asylum seekers and traumatized refugees..”
In other words, the Refugee Council “Helped us regain hope”, say the refugees who have benefited from its support. As the article in the Times, the organization, which was created in the aftermath of World War II, “Works with local authorities to provide ongoing support for the first year, at least, after a refugee arrives”. Among the aids, some already mentioned above, such as financial or moral support, but also, “l’ONG helps them find accommodation, education, English lessons, access to health care ”.
The United Kingdom, a not so welcoming Eldorado
If the United Kingdom is described as a land of welcome, an Eldorado, in reality, the situation is not the same. Indeed, for several years now, the country has sought to reduce immigration. Steps have been taken in this direction. For example, an agreement was made with France to strengthen security measures on the French side and prevent migrants from crossing the Channel, in exchange for nearly 63 million euros. The figures are also telling about the country’s current immigration policy. The Guardian writing :
UK Comes 17e in Europe in the number of asylum requests, in proportion to its number of inhabitants. The UK receives almost half as many asylum applications as theEU on average. Germany received 122,015 applications between March 2020 and March 2021, France 93,475.”