“After I met with Boaz, I began to see the light” – Tumi’s Story
While many friends and family travel to be together this Christmas, for Tumi, the distance is just too great.
Tumi is from a country in Southern Africa*, and she wanted to tell you her story:
‘The life I was experiencing back home as a woman was hard. It included domestic violence and constant threats.
‘When I came to the UK, I was diagnosed with a serious illness. Things got rough. I was hopeless and homeless. I stayed at different friends’ houses, but it wasn’t easy at all.
‘I had claimed asylum, but my claim was refused. I was given notice that I was liable for detention. I went to sign at the Home Office reporting centre, but when I got there, before I could even sign, they came and said, “you should come with us”, and they detained me. It wasn’t easy. I was thinking, ‘where do I go from here?’
‘My situation wasn’t nice at all, and with my health, it wasn’t helping. But then I heard about Boaz, and after I met with them, I began to see the light.
‘To have somebody provide accommodation, somewhere that I knew I could go home to – it was really something.
‘First of all, I lived with hosts. They made an effort to welcome me, they gave me space. It was really comfortable.
‘Then I moved into the Boaz house, which was heaven for me.
‘Even now, when I unlock the door and get into the house, I know I can relax and think whatever I want. It is just so perfect.
‘There are a mix of different people and cultures in the house. Sometimes it is tricky, but we’ve learned to get on and to adjust to each other’s routines. This year, I will be doing Christmas with the other ladies in the Boaz house. We will share a meal. It is like a family, just the same.
And yet, wonderful though Tumi’s Boaz ‘family’ is, they can’t take the place of her real family:
‘Back home, at Christmas, we gathered as a family. We would have a big meal together, food, music, stuff like that.
‘The thing that I would like most for Christmas is just to be with my daughter. She is thirteen years old now. That would be a big present to me.
‘It would make a huge impact if I got refugee status. I want to give hope to others in the same situation as me. I thank God for everything, even though it is hard. The message I would like to give to Boaz supporters is thank you, God bless you and please keep on helping people.’
This Christmas, will you stand with us to help bridge the gap and be the next best thing to family for more people like Tumi?
Thank you for supporting the Boaz Trust this Christmas.
P.S. By setting up a monthly donation, you can help us to support more people like Tumi, until the day that destitution amongst asylum seekers and refugees ends.