Here on the Refugee Action Welcome Wall you can meet some of the people who we have helped along their journey to find safety.
And you can let someone else still on that journey know that there are people who appreciate all that they've gone through and want to welcome them to Britain.
Post a message and help us fill the walls of our advice centres with words of warm welcome…
Pearl from Burma
In Burma I lived in a small village. We were a part of the Karen people, a minority, and were persecuted by the Burmese authorities. The village had Christian and Buddhist people there who separated and started fighting. At the end of 1994, we were told to leave within 2 weeks. We ran to Thailand and found the UNHCR. We were given bamboo sticks and sheets to sleep under. But after a few months the soldiers came and burned the camp down.
I fled to another refugee camp and found my sister. I married and had two children there. I worked in community health, trying to educate people, as our community has a relatively low education.
We heard about resettlement in another country through UNHCR and had to put our names in a box. We didn't have a choice about where we went. We had a medical check and interviews with the Home Office. When I heard I was going to England I was very surprised. In our country we had heard of England as a big and powerful country. I thought, 'is this real?' I was also afraid and confused about what would happen to us.
We arrived in Bolton and were met by Refugee Action. We were then told we were going to live in Bury, with four of the families. I was very anxious, but then the Refugee Action worker told us that we were all going to the same area. We were showed our flat and how everything worked. It was very quiet but very beautiful. We had never seen a heater or a boiler, my children had never sat on a sofa. In the first week Refugee Action workers showed us where the shops were, how to get a bus, how to pay our bills. We went to JobCentre Plus. If we didn't have Refugee Action I don't know what we would have done. So we were very happy. My resettlement worker has done so much for me, she has helped me to adapt to daily life, but she also encourages me to do things by myself.
Now I am a volunteer assistant teacher and would love to become a teacher one day. My children are doing well in school. I find people in Bury very kind and good. People are helpful if we need to know something. Now I have found thai shops in Manchester so we can eat our food. I go there about twice a month, but I prefer living in Bury as it is a nice community.