Lift the Ban: Baila’s Story

By January 23, 2019 June 14th, 2019 Blog post

I am a dedicated teacher and a hard worker, so give me a chance to use my energy and skills in a productive way. Let me work, let me be who I am.

From a very young age I developed a passion for teaching. My mum worked at a school for a few years and so I followed in her footsteps. I feel that I was born to teach.

I worked for over 16 years in education in my home-country. During those years, I taught at schools, I helped develop academic syllabus books for pre-schools and I worked with the British Council as an exam supervisor for many years. I am also a homeopathic doctor and I have an MBA in marketing.

I had such a good life that people would long for. But then circumstances forced me to send my daughters abroad, and leave my career and my country in search of safety. I claimed asylum in the UK last year and I am still waiting for a decision on my claim.

When I came here, I did not know anything about the asylum system or that people seeking asylum are banned from working. The main thing for me was to live my life in safety.

I have been given a roof over my head and I get financial support, but I want to work. I have been helped at a very crucial time of my life but now I feel that I should be contributing towards the society that has welcomed me. I want to do this through teaching others because this is what I have always done. Like I said, it is my passion.

I am a dedicated person; I am a hard worker. I always try my best to give everything my fullest. I want to be able to utilise what I have.

At first, I felt so stressed and depressed, and I cried all the time. I would sit in my room for so long thinking of my past and thinking of my daughters and their future. It was torture for me.

I had to get myself out of this situation, so I began to volunteer in different places, helping others who are in need. I volunteer at Southampton & Winchester Visitors Group, the British Red Cross and Cancer Research.

But my profession is teaching and I will continue to work and develop in this field. I recently applied for a teacher’s training programme but I was told that cannot enrol in it until I get status.

I don’t know how long I will have to wait for to get my status. All I am asking for is to allow me to work so I can contribute to taxes like others and to help my daughters.

I am sharing my story to support the Lift the Ban campaign, calling for the right to work for people seeking asylum after six months of waiting for a decision on their claim because I believe people should be allowed to work – it is their right to work.

My daughters are my life. I want to be able to support them again, and to watch them grow and develop. But as long as I can’t work and make a living, I will not be able to do any of that.

Just give me a chance to work; give me a chance to use my energy and skills in a productive way. Let me be who I am.