Escaping war and famine is a huge challenge in itself, but going on to find a new place to call home, obtaining refugee status and building a life there without family, language or knowledge of the culture seems an almost insurmountable task.
Yet young people we see at New Horizon Youth Centre manage to achieve just that when given the tools, knowledge and support to get them started.
One young woman who exemplifies this is Neda who, having been forced to leave her home country of Sudan due to the after effects of a long and devastating civil war, was granted refugee status in 2013. Getting legal recognition to remain in the UK was only the first step on the challenging road to a brighter future however, as she explained when we interviewed her:
Could you tell us how you ended up coming to New Horizon Youth Centre?
When I left my country I first came to Glasgow, but the friends I knew had already left so I was on my own. Someone told me that London was much better so I travelled there but again I didn’t know anyone, or where to go. I’d travelled for nine hours from Glasgow, I was tired and hadn’t eaten, and a lady saw me crying on the bus. She spoke to me, I told her I was homeless and didn’t know what to do, she said not to worry and she found out about New Horizon and took me there.
What has been your proudest achievement since you started coming here?
I just got my level 1 certificate in football coaching! I will start the next course for level 2 in September, when I’ve learned to understand people a bit better, I’m at college and have done my English level 2 and will start level 3 in September as well.
Where did your interest in football come from?
When I was a child I saw people playing football on TV and I wanted to try it, so after I had my appointments [for accommodation] at New Horizon I asked Simon if he could help me to learn.
What are your hopes for the future?
Maybe when I’ve studied I would like to become a nurse, and to carry on playing football, if I have time I would like to work as a football coach for children too.
How did finding us help you?
New Horizon changed everything for my life, without it I was so down, I didn’t know where to go. I’m young now but when I’m older if I win a trophy I will bring it here, as a success for New Horizon.
We’re so happy to have been able to help Neda and couldn’t be prouder of the amazing progress she’s made. We look forward to seeing her continue to build a positive future!
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