Many of Hope into Action’s refugee tenants to-date have been Muslims fleeing racial persecution. They have also housed Christian converts who have fled religious persecution in Iran. Christians and Muslims are often housed together and when we can we celebrate each other’s celebrations such as Eid and Christmas.
Atif was forced to flee from Sudan as a result of the civil war. His home was destroyed by the Jangaweed and we ended up in a refugee camp for about 2 years during which time his older brother left to try and make a fresh start. Atif left when he was 15 years old some 18 months later leaving his family behind (mum, dad, little brother and sister).
He spent 2 years in Libya with other Sudanese refugees but it was very dangerous and he was still facing racial persecution for being Black despite being a Muslim like his persecutors.
He then followed the family he was living with when they decided to move to Europe. They spent 6 days in the bottom of the boat in the dark. For half that time they had no food or water and one person died of dehydration.
When they landed he was taken to a refugee camp in Milan. He stowed away on a train to get to the French border and then made his way through the train tunnels under the Alps in the dark to reach France. Another 40 days later following a time in Paris he found himself in the Jungle in Calais.
Whilst he was queuing for food a Sudanese guy approached him who had come to visit his younger brother from the UK. By the most amazing of coincidences this guy knew his brother and was able to put them in contact. They had not spoken for more than three years and the whole thing was a complete surprise and shock.
Hope into Action helped facilitate him being reunited with his brother through the legal centre in Calais. One of the workers drove from Wolverhampton to Devon with his older brother to go pick him up. They were able to provide him with a room in a house with his brother together and facilitated English lessons. They also helped him with the legal proceedings so that he could get his right to remain in the UK. He got a lot of support from a number of people at the partner church. He has now moved on to a council flat with his brother Mubarak. He is at college and his brother is in his third year University studying mechanical engineering.