Fatima and Amina

Fatima came to the UK more than 2 years ago, from a war torn country, after she had lost her husband and feared for her life. She came to the UK looking for safety and for an opportunity to rebuild her life. During her time here, she was waiting for an answer on her asylum case. Months and years went by and no definitive answer came, her case went rather from hearing to hearing.

When Fatima met Amina about 6 months ago, her morale was really low, her thoughts were scattered and she had difficulties communicating in English. Fatima was matched with Amina as they share the same language and she would feel completely understood. During the first months, Amina met with Fatima on a weekly basis to listen, understand her situation and build a strong relationship.  After the first month, the meetings moved on to a bi-monthly basis. This initial step has helped Fatima to pinpoint the critical area that she needs to work on and prioritise. It became clear that first she needed to rebuild her confidence, increase her emotional and psychological strength and create a support network that could help her.

From the first discussions a plan was created and Fatima started reconnecting with the strong and independent woman she was before she had to flee her country and lose her confidence. She increased the frequency of her English classes and took any free classes she could. She joined an organisation providing psychological support to women on a bi-monthly basis. She became more involved in driving her case and following the progress with her solicitor and even contacted her MP for support with the help of Amina. She has also obtained the right to work in the UK while her claim is been processed.

The last 6 months have been a transformational experience for both Fatima and Amina. Fatima was able to regain her confidence, focus and be in charge of her case and for Amina it was a steep learning curve to increase her listening skills and knowledge on asylum to support Amina. The relationship continues, and the next step is to help Fatima apply and find a job.