My One Year Anniversary at Refugee Education UK (REUK)

It is so great to be celebrating my one-year anniversary at Refugee Education UK (REUK).

When I joined in November 2021 after completing my Masters. I was new to the Refugee Education sector in the UK and REUK trusted me to coordinate and lead the Educational Mentoring Programme for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in West London and at some point East London and now I am leading both hubs.
As someone who loves to see change happen, I couldn't see it immediately and at every point, I am always reassured by my colleagues and manager that I am doing a great job.
6 months down the road and now 1 year, I am proud of what I have achieved so far. From seeing a young person who could barely speak English at all when they arrived in the UK to hearing them speaking confidently, watching YouTube videos, and BBC documentaries to constantly improve themselves, and seeing them smashing it in college brings me so much joy. To see a young person who had felt isolated in the past but because of their mentoring relationship is now open to learning, and feeling positive about life and education in general. And to seeing mentors learn about the challenges that refugees and asylum seekers face in the UK and how that has deepened the support that they give brings me loads of joy and being at the center of these relationships has made me more patient, self-aware, and learning that truly, change takes time and change is also in the small things, not the big ones.
This work has rekindled my view of hope, that hope means trying and believing that the future would be better. And education can serve as a lifeline and a symbol of hope for young refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.
I know and understand that some people believe that Refugees and Asylum seekers create a burden on the Economy but I beg to differ. I recently visited a college in West London and every young refugee and asylum seeker I spoke to were all positive about education. They are willing to learn and do the hard work. They are just as bright as many other young people and all we have to do is to remove the barriers that deny access and allow them to focus on education.
I am so proud of doing this work and I am glad I have dedicated one year of my life to this cause. I look forward to the next year.
As I used to say, I don’t know what the future holds for me. I honestly don’t know how it would be. What it would look like but I am sure that I would be committed to being there for one child, one young person who probably their circumstance was affected by forced migration or just the environment they found themselves in (underserved or rural communities). And I believe education can change their circumstance and equip them with the tool to transform themselves and their communities.
When I started at REUK, I quoted a friend Farai Munjoma. He said “Some of us are not looking for a job, we are looking for a mission”
I am glad I found that mission in REUK and also the right culture to live the mission.


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