'I want to study and play sport' – a young asylum seeker in Britain, one year on

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Twelve months ago, we met Ahsanullah Ahsas who was being helped by the Children’s Society, one of the recipients of our annual appeal. Now granted leave to remain, he explains the impact of the charity’s work

Ahsanullah Ahsas, a shy, gaunt teenager from Afghanistan, told his traumatic life story to the Guardian last year; how he fled his country after the Taliban shot his father in front of him, the terrifying journey across Europe to England where he sought refuge, and how the Children’s Society, one of our 2016 Christmas charities, helped him to assemble the basics of life here. The charity’s advocacy worker, Din Nazim, himself an Afghan refugee, had come across Ahsanullah in a house for adult asylum seekers in Leeds, enrolled him at college to learn English and found him both a local mentor and a youth group to make friends. Ahsanullah talked about his struggles in this country, having to survive on the £36.95-a-week allowance for asylum seekers. He feared deportation, after the Home Office disputed that he was under 18 or even from Afghanistan, and refused his asylum application. Ahsanullah told me about the horrors from which he’d fled. “When I go to bed, I can’t turn the light off,” he said, trembling. “When I do, I see my father being shot, the blood in his chest.”

Related: Guardian and Observer 2016 charity appeal raises over £1.75m

Ahsanullah was deeply grateful to be found a room in a house. Even so, the place was grim, rundown and cold

When I go to sleep I always think of my father. I remember it. They put 30 bullets in his chest

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Source: afghanistan
Link : ‘I want to study and play sport’ – a young asylum seeker in Britain, one year on


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