I am seeking asylum in the UK – as a lesbian I face persecution in my home country Nigeria. Please read my story and consider supporting my studies.
I fled my country, Nigeria, in 2012 because being gay meant my life was at risk. I have three children, and I feared for their safety as well as mine. I managed to get a place on a Masters course in the UK, at Edinburgh Business School Herriot Watt, which offered me a way out. I brought my three children because I knew we would be safe here and I could provide a stable life for them.
It has been a struggle, but they are doing very well in school, and I progressed on my course consistently receiving positive grades. Alongside my studies, I worked full time to support myself and my children. I held roles in customer services for an events management company and as health and safety officer in a hostel for vulnerable women. Unfortunately, during my course, my son fell seriously ill and I had to put my studies on pause to care for him.
The Home Office refused the application to extend my family’s visa to stay in the UK. I asked for asylum, on the basis that I have a well-founded fear of persecution, due to my sexuality. There are anti-gay laws in Nigeria and I would be in great danger there. I made a claim for asylum in 2016 and am still waiting for a resolution.
Without a visa and with no right to work, I have had to give up my jobs and am unable to provide for my family or pay the fees for my Masters. I have requested to pay in instalments but this has not been possible. I am unable to graduate until I have completed the final module ‘International Marketing’ and paid the remaining fees, including exam registration, in total £1500.
Speaking to some supportive friends has given me the courage to speak out and ask for help in public through crowdfunding.
As an asylum seeker, my family are living on Home Office financial assistance. At £35 per week this covers the basic essentials but leaves no room for saving or paying for a course of study.
While my asylum claim is being resolved and I am prohibited from working, I put my skills and experience to good use by volunteering every day of the week. I am actively involved with projects including LGBTQ* and women’s support groups, job clubs, benefit advice, refugee and asylum support and a charity shop. In addition to helping others, I am committed to completing the course of study I began, to better myself and be able to return to work immediately.
I gratefully receive any donations that will help me realise my ambition.