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My name is Ravi. I’ve spent the last few years stuck living in the asylum system with my wife and three young children. I am deeply honoured to have the opportunity to be your Guest Editor for Refugee Action’s Winter Newsletter and to share my journey with you. 

As a person seeking asylum, I’ve faced many uncertainties in my life. The most pressing concern, one that haunts many of us, is the work ban imposed on people seeking safety. 

The working ban not only affects our financial stability but also takes a toll on our mental and emotional wellbeing. As a father, I feel I should be able to fulfil my kids’ needs. They want simple things from me like, a bike or to go to a karate class with friends. It makes me feel helpless when I’m unable to give them these things. 

There’s not a single day when my wife and myself do not cry. We don’t not know where this uncertainty will take us. It leaves us feeling powerless and dependent on support systems. 

I became a Guest Editor to give back and support others who are on a similar journey. I want to show others how through Refugee Action’s networks and their ‘Pathways to Work’ programme, I was able to find a sense of purpose and direction during a challenging period in my life. 

Your support instils in people a sense of self-worth and purpose. 

In this edition of Your Action you can read a number of stories highlighting the multiple barriers the asylum system imposes on people seeking safety in the UK.

Spotlight: Employment Support Officer 

In this edition of the newsletter, I interview the Pathways to Work Support Officer, Nabil, about the project, his role and how it has helped people like me. 

Fighting for a not-for-profit asylum system

You might have heard the phrase ‘the asylum system is broken.’ Except it works perfectly well for its’ profiteers. Find out how you can support our Most Wanted campaign and join the fight for a not-for-profit asylum system.  

You can ensure people understand their rights 

Aaima and her mother spent years hiding from their abuser in their home country. They escaped to the UK in 2010. But the safety they had hoped for remained out of reach. They faced separation and mental suffering and were left in the dark with no proper guidance to understand their rights. Find out how your support can help people like Aaima and her mother to receive the proper guidance needed to understand their rights and case progress. 

Love is love: LGBTQ+ History Month 

February marks LGBTQ+ History Month, celebrating the achievements and contributions of the LGBTQ+ community. Many people seek refuge in the UK, drawn by its LGBTQ+ rights reputation. Sadly LGTBQ+ people seeking asylum in the UK often face further discrimination in the asylum system. You can find out more about their experiences with the discriminatory system and how they are advocating for being their true selves.