Fatima and Amina
Fatima came to the UK 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. Her asylum case had been dragging on for years with no definitive answer. When Fatima was matched with Amina – who speaks the same language – her morale was low and she had difficulty communicating in English. During the first months, the pair met every week to build a strong relationship. Amina helped Fatima to pinpoint her critical needs, focused on rebuilding her confidence, increase her emotional and psychological strength and create a support network.
Quickly Fatima started reconnecting with the strong and independent with the strong and independent woman she was before she had to flee her country. She increased the frequency of her English classes and took any free classes she could. She joined an organisation providing psychological support to women and became more involved in her asylum case, even contacting her MP for support with the help of Amina.
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 Fatima. The relationship continues, and the next step is to help Fatima apply and find a job.