Refugees of the North East #5: Nancy
Nancy came to the UK as an asylum seeker in 2005, having fled from Kenya as a result of tribal clashes and fears for her general safety and security. The community Nancy was living in was dangerous; on a day-to-day basis her life and that of her family – as well as her home and possessions – had been constantly under threat.
Nancy went on to explain that she felt a real sense of freedom and peace on arriving in the UK and goes as far as to say that the UK feels more like her home than Kenya does now. ‘In the UK, people are very lucky. The Government upholds equal rights for all, supports those who are vulnerable and allows the right for individuals to practice culture and religion without persecution.’
Nancy explained to us that equality was not guaranteed in Kenya, for instance for disabled people. ‘Disabled people are frowned upon and are not entitled to equal rights as other people are. This is very sad.’
For Nancy, the Comfrey Project represents those same values she so admires, finding that people from different cultures and backgrounds can enjoy a homely environment through food, culture and mutual understanding.
She has found her vocation in helping other refugees and asylum seekers who arrive at The Comfrey Project, specifically those suffering from trauma and anxiety due to their difficult circumstances. Nancy feels able to empathise with these individuals and is able to provide emotional support and practical help. ‘I like to think that I can bring a touch of sweet light into the lives of others’, she says with a smile!
Nancy previously worked as a Laboratory Technician in Kenya and is currently working towards going to university to re-train in a similar role. She is looking forward to obtaining a stable job which will allow her to feel a sense of achievement, whilst supporting her family to gain the best possible start in life.