Support Cody and Donate via JustGiving
One of our lovely volunteers Cody is raising money for us via JustGiving. Here she explains why she is running for Revive, and how you can support us in the work that we do.
“For the past few months I have been volunteering at Revive; an amazing charity supporting refugees and people seeking asylum in Greater Manchester.
Often the main focus is on refugees and people seeking asylum outside of the UK – the ‘threat’ of them arriving and the conditions they face in their home countries. However, there is much more work that needs to be done upon arrival in the UK to ensure their safety and integration into society.
Revive provides refugees with a wide range of support, such as free immigration advice, social support, volunteer programmes, enrichment projects such as employability classes, ESOL, wellbeing classes, allotment project, Women’s Group, advocacy and campaign group and more, making the process much more accessible for its service users.
I chose to volunteer with the immigration advice team as it is what I am most interested in. Most of the cases I was supporting were family reunion cases and arranging legal travel documents.
I found that the lengths that people have to go to in order to prove that they have ‘suffered enough’ to warrant being allowed to stay is shocking. The endless questioning on the most personal and traumatic details of their lives and relationships would be dreadful for anyone to cope with, let alone someone whose first language isn’t English.
One particular man I remember had worked in a school in his native Afghanistan. He was recruited by the British Government to gather intelligence on people who were becoming radicalised and, in return, he and his family would be given safe passage to the UK. This was not the case – word started to spread about what he was doing, causing people to become suspicious. The British Government, having placed him in this increasingly dangerous situation, did not fulfil their promise, and so he was forced to make the notoriously treacherous journey across the Mediterranean alone. Thankfully, as one of the ‘lucky ones’, he was able to prove what had happened and was granted refugee status, however his family have not been able to join him, causing extreme distress to all concerned.
Another man I met was a young man from Eritrea, fleeing civil war and forced military inscription. He had made his way here on a traumatic journey for several months, and came to Revive looking for help to bring his wife here.
For the home office to approve the family reunion he had to print out pages and pages of WhatsApp conversations detailing every communication between him and his wife each month for a year. He was also expected to get these transcripts transcribed into English himself, which can be extremely costly. Additionally he had to produce a marriage certificate (not the kind of thing you remember to pack when you are fleeing a worn torn country) and wedding photographs. After this, the decision to grant reunion is up to the discretion of the home office, with a very low rate of success.
Revive is an incredible charity that has changed the lives of so many and continues to help people to regain some of the dignity, friendship and most importantly the Human Rights that they deserve and are entitled to whilst going through unimaginable hardship. However sadly funding for Revive is significantly lower than what would be sufficient, so please donate, whatever the amount, as it really does all make a difference.
You can donate to Cody’s cause via JustGiving here.