'Life is very different now' - Refugee Council
March 25, 2014

‘Life is very different now’

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Gateway Protection Programme in the UK. Through Gateway, the UK accepts 750 resettled refugees from around the world every year.

In 2011, Badasso, an Ethiopian refugee living in Kenya, was one of them. This is his story.

I’m Ethiopian by nationality, but I fled my homeland in 2003 because of the political situation there.

I escaped to Kenya and I stayed in a refugee camp there for nine years. After two years, my wife came to join me; she was being constantly arrested in our homeland because of her association with me. In 2008 we had our child.

Life in the camp was really hard. It is really difficult for people to live there in terms of security, food, health. There is no adequate water, health facilities or enough food. There are over 100,000 people living there; the UNHCR finds it hard to cope and it feels like living in prison.

In terms of security, every night people were dying. People came to the camp and attacked the refugees.

We have started a new life in the UK now. When I came here it was good in terms of the equality and human rights. Adapting to the weather was a bit challenging though!

I now have enough food for myself and my family, and I’m getting treatment for my medical condition.

In the refugee camp you are just sitting. There are no opportunities for further education. Since coming to England, I started with my Level 1 in English and now I’m at the University of Sheffield studying Community Development.

Life is very different now.