What does the future hold for refugees and asylum seekers in London?


Alongside the hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers who have worked with CARAS to better their lives in London, come hundreds of individual journeys that have started from a diverse and varied background and have the potential to move towards an equally diverse and varied future.


Their journey continues to the extent of their ambition.  Whether it’s an education, a career, a family or any combination of the above, with the right support and nurturing, each individual can be set along a suitable path to help them achieve their aims.


Hani had hopes of a new start with her family.  After battling against illness and homelessness, she secured permanent accommodation for her family, as well as a supportive network of friends.  Her two children are now at university developing their own opportunities for the future!  They all still attend events at CARAS… as volunteers!


Yumani was only a teenager when she arrived, alone, in London.  She overcame mental and physical health issues in order to focus on her education.  CARAS supported her aptitude for maths to help her gain a GCSE, which helped her gain a place at college, which has led onto studying Pharmacy at Kingston University.  Yumani’s journey has already been a long one but she is now at the beginning of a newer, more positive path.


CARAS meets with scores of refugees and asylum seekers each year, each with different talents, skills, aspirations and ambitions.  Everyone is at a different stage along their own path towards achieving these goals; to be an engineer, a mechanic, a plumber, a dentist, a social worker, a child care worker or a policeman – just to mention a few! Every week, we meet with young people with lots of ambition and, taking it one step at a time, much of it is within reach!


We are proud to see young people, members of CARAS’s youth group past and present, at Winchester University and London Southbank University.  One soon-to-be-student even has their choice of four offers, including those from University of East Anglia and London Metropolitan, due to start this September.


Many of our members, of all ages, talk to us about finding work that will enable them to give something back to the community.  They often express their gratitude for the help and support they received themselves and are now in a position to support others.  Those from a refugee background, after all, are in a unique position to do this as they have the insight of first-hand experiences! And there are plenty of opportunities to do this; just look at Hani and her family or the Chickpea Sister’s social enterprise!


CARAS would therefore like to take this opportunity, on Refugee Week, to send our congratulations to all our members for all the accomplishments they’ve achieved so far – no matter how big or small.  May everyone continue to work towards their individual goals; both long-term and short-term.   We wish every one of our members continued success on their journey and endeavour to continue supporting you along the way.