Case Study: Ibrahim from the New Londoners Project.
11 December 2007
Ibrahim, was six years old when he was shot in the arm during the civil war in Liberia. He lost his family and became a refugee in Gambia. There he was looked after by a man who became his surrogate family. At the age of fourteen Ibrahim came to the UK. He was financially supported by his friend in Gambia and settled down well at school.
Unfortunately, at the age of sixteen the money being sent from Gambia to look after Ibrahim stopped. The relationship between Ibrahim and his carer became strained and one day he assaulted Ibrahim, throwing him against a glass door. Ibrahim severed the top of his right index finger and badly gashed his back. Ibrahim's carer then fled, taking all Ibrahim's papers and his passport with him.
A few months later, Ibrahim lost his job at the sandwich factory where he had been working part-time whilst going to college. He was unable to seek support from the local authority because he did not have any documents. Social Services referred him to The Children's Society's New Londoners Project.
The project helped Ibrahim get new documents from the immigration department so that he could secure accommodation. They made sure that, despite not having documents, he could remain at college. Ibrahim now lives in a hostel. He will complete his degree in the summer and hopes to be able to get a good job as a computer programmer so that he can rent his own place.
New Londoners project workers still regularly visit Ibrahim, who is now 19, to make sure he is okay. The fact that they have always supported him, that they are always there for him, has given Ibrahim the confidence to expect a bright future. Ibrahim still visits the project and is actively involved in speaking about The Children's Society, playing his part in helping the organisation support other refugees like him.