Sarita's Story

Sarita is 27. She arrived in the UK 18 months ago as a refugee. Her family come from Barawa on the south eastern coast of Somalia, but the war forced them to leave their home and flee into Kenya. For two years the family lived in a United Nations tent.

Sarita explained: ‘We were really living on the street. At night we had to light fires to keep away the lions, but we could hear them nearby. When I got the chance to come to the UK to study and find safety, I knew it was a wonderful opportunity, but also very daunting.’

Sarita arrived alone at the asylum centre unable to speak English.

Her first priority here was to learn English. By the time she moved into Chapter 1 Stephen House a year ago, she was already starting to communicate well, and by the summer 0f 2010 she was able to make a presentation in English.

She said: ‘I’ve seen so many bad things. Now I want other people in my situation to see how I’ve turned my life around, that there is another life, and how important it is to have education.’