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The UK Asylum system was not fit for purpose even before the additional hardships and challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Long delays and wrong decisions are already commonplace, and people can wait weeks or months to receive the vital financial support they are entitled to.
Without this support vulnerable men and women are forced into destitution.
Young men like Fridoon who after being refused the help he urgently needed fell through the cracks of an inadequate system.
The unrelenting stress of battling a system for almost 10 years whilst trying to keep afloat, affected not just his physical but also his mental health. When Fridoon came to Refugee Action he told us he felt ‘broken inside’.
Today we are asking you, to stand by his side. Will you donate today and lend your support to ensure that people like Fridoon are not abandoned by society?
"The situation killed me from the inside.
It burned me from the inside."
Fridoon fled Afghanistan after the Taliban killed his father and brother.
“Our country is different you know. If you’re not praying, you’re not going to the mosque, they make big problems for you, they beat you. There is no freedom like there is here.
“I was 15 when I came to the UK. I was so scared when I first arrived – I was a child, and I was scared to speak to anybody – I didn’t know what to do. I applied for asylum, because I thought when I get a stable home and leave to remain, I can study and start to be something.
“I then waited for two years for a decision – I was going to college everyday, I was happy. When the first refusal came for me, I broke down. Eventually I had to leave my house, from that time, I have been struggling until now.
“I was struggling to go out, struggling to afford my bus pass. If they gave me permission to work, I would have found a job, no problem. If I was allowed to work, it would have be good for the government and for me. I just wanted to work.
“Mentally, I had problems, I didn’t know what to do. I was confused, completely confused. So that’s why it took so long. Still now, I am struggling. This situation killed me from the inside. It burned me from the inside. I couldn’t talk to anybody. It’s difficult, it’s very difficult.”
A Decade in Limbo
It took more than ten years for Fridoon to get leave to remain in the UK, for the majority of that time he received no financial support and was forced into destitution.
Today, will you help offer a lifeline to people like Fridoon?
Asylum Crisis: a lifeline
Thanks to supporters like you, our committed Asylum Crisis Case Workers and volunteers helped Fridoon apply for accommodation and the basic income allowance of £5.39 a day. With your support, that claim was finally successful and Fridoon had somewhere safe to live.
These services, which were already stretched, are now working to continue providing support to people seeking asylum during the coronavirus. But we need your help, will you donate to help support Refugee Action to continue all of its vital work?