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Will you help us raise £50,000 by 20 December?

We’re launching an urgent Christmas appeal to help children and families in desperate need, with nowhere else to turn.

Your Christmas gift

Your generosity could help more families like Farida’s. Farida was trapped in the UK asylum system for ten long, painful years. Her family was finally granted Limited Leave to Remain in 2018 after being forced to leave The Gambia in 2008.

Farida had been relentlessly threatened and interrogated about her husband’s whereabouts. Her husband had been working for the National Intelligence Agency and the Government suspected that he was involved in a coup to overthrow the president.

Farida was absolutely terrified. She knew there was a huge risk that she’d be imprisoned or even murdered. She simply had no choice, but to join her husband in the UK who was here studying.

“I’d rather die here than ever go back to The Gambia.”

– Farida

A decade-long battle

Farida had no idea that the next 10 years would bring even more hardship and pain. She and her husband were wrongly refused asylum time and time again. They were then kicked out of their accommodation when Farida was pregnant with their daughter, Hareem.

They found a hostel to live in, but didn’t even have their own bedroom. Farida had to sleep in the shared living room, which became particularly unbearable when she was heavily pregnant. It was only a week before Hareem was born that the Home Office finally housed them in appropriate accommodation.

Christmas came and went 10 times

A decade of uncertainty dragged on, they were living on just over £5 a day. The constant stress of waiting and waiting for an asylum decision became too much for Farida’s husband. He found the whole asylum process so difficult that he had a mental breakdown. It affected Farida and their two little girls so much that she ended up separating from him. Nobody should go through hell because of an inhumane asylum system.

“I went to Refugee Action and they were like a second home to me.”

– Farida

Thankfully, Farida heard about the Children and Families project at Refugee Action and was given the vital support and advice she and her children needed. Farida was given legal advice and she and her girls were taken on day trips to escape the stresses of the asylum process.

Importantly, the team at Children and Families project advised her that she could apply for ‘leave to remain’, as her daughter who was born in the UK had turned seven. It was because of this specialist help that Farida was granted Limited Leave to Remain in the UK for two and a half years.

Thanks to you

It’s thanks to your kind donations that Farida and her daughters Hareem and Faridah are looking forward to 2020 with renewed hope.

Farida now works for the Children and Families project as a Support Worker, helping others in a situation she knows only too well. But there are many more families that are still desperately looking for safety. We want to help as many as we can, especially during the cold winter months, but we need your support. Please will you consider giving a special Christmas gift today?

Gift of comfort and joy


Could buy toys such as building blocks, toy cars or a dollhouse. Children can play with the toys at our projects and we also give toys to children who have no toys whatsoever at home.

Gift of childhood


Could help a traumatised child to attend a specialist support session at our Children and Families project, to enable them to come to terms with all that’s happened to them and help them to recover.

Gift of sanctuary


Could help give a family one-to-one support with their asylum claim, such as disputing wrongful decisions, so they can finally have a safe place to call home.

Support our Christmas appeal

Your Christmas gift today could enable more children to find safety this winter and help humanity to win. Thank you.

Farida and her family’s story is real but, names and images may have been changed.