'I'm really proud to be English' - Refugee Council
March 19, 2014

‘I’m really proud to be English’

Som is a refugee, originally from Bhutan. He was resettled in the UK from Nepal with his family under the UN’s Gateway Protection Programme after spending over 20 years in a refugee camp. This is his story.

When I was four years old, my parents and grandparents fled Bhutan for Nepal because of various problems in our home country.

I grew up in the Refugee Camp in Nepal; I lived there for over 20 years. I was resettled to the UK with my mum and my wife in 2012.

It’s a vast difference between life in the refugee camp and life in the UK. I had a life before but I did not exist as an actual human being. We weren’t allowed to leave the camp and we were relying on different international agencies for food. The life was really miserable.

I’m so happy to be in the UK: by the luck of God we have this life now and we’re really happy.

The Refugee Council helped us for a year when we first arrived; we didn’t know anything at first; it was like being a new born child. The work of the Refugee Council with new arrivals is so important: my support worker Helen really changed my life.

Now In the evenings I work in a food factory and during the day I work as an interpreter. I’m also studying at college. In the future, I’d like to go to university so I can become a community worker.

I want my children and grandchildren to have a better life. I’m really proud to be English; I finally feel like I’ve found my own identity.