Katie's Diary

Seeking safety

23rd February 2017

Sadik is a very young man who lives in Yorkshire now, enabled and supported by ubu’s Young People’s Services. He left Ethiopia in fear of his life a couple of years ago because of the war-torn conflicts going on in his country. His journey took him first to Ethiopia, where he was captured and tortured. He then found a way to escape and fled to the Sudan where he was in hospital for 6 months receiving medical treatment and recovering from his ordeal. Sadik travelled the risky journey to Calais on the French coast where he lived in ‘The Jungle’ as the refugee site became known, before coming to Britain on a small boat.

It was a very dangerous trip and fortunately, along with many others, he was rescued from his little boat in the English Channel. Sadik moved in to one of ubu’s Young People’s Services at the beginning of 2016. It was a huge change in his young life and the first time he felt some kind of safety.

Sadik often says that all he wants is to make his family proud. Sadik had to deal with the constant concern about the safety of his family back in Ethiopia, especially his mother.

All the uncertainty was quite naturally incredibly worrying for Sadik. ubu enablers helped him to get some therapeutic support from specialists in the NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. Sadik found it really helpful and at last he was able to speak freely about his maltreatment in Ethiopia and his journey to England. It was also a chance for Sadik to talk openly about how lonely he was feeling and that of course, he was missing his family very much.

The uncertainty about the safety of Sadik’s family and not knowing if they were even alive haunted him constantly, it made him feel very low. He was sleeping badly and often woke up with night terrors. The ubu enabling team wanted to find a way to help Sadik feel better and to get some self-confidence back. Sadik said that he needed to find his family, and to be sure that they were well and safe. He knew that nothing short of this could help him to feel better.

ubu enablers suggested that they approach the Red Cross and other aid organisations in Ethiopia to help him to searching for his family. Sadik was enthusiastic and really excited. Together, Sadik and his enabling team completed a referral request form to the Red Cross asking for their help in finding his family.

It took quite a while but in the middle of 2016 the Red Cross let Sadik know that they had been able to find his mother and his uncle in Ethiopia. It was stunning news and he felt almost overwhelmed by the news.

The next step was for Sadik to get in touch with his relatives by telephone. First he spoke to his uncle and then his mother. At first his mum thought it might be a hoax. It was a wonderful moment for Sadik and his mum, finding each other again. It was a very emotional time for Sadik and the enablers supporting him as everyone had been hoping this day would finally come.

Knowing his family were alive and well it was great but he also felt sad because he would obviously love to see them again. The next part of his momentous journey is to find a way to make that happen and Sadik is determined to work towards achieving it by building a new life and working towards finding greater independence, enabled by ubu.

Sadik is beginning to feel that he can achieve it and he’s embracing these huge changes with confidence that he had almost completely lost. Sadik is still adjusting to his new life, becoming a part of his community and preparing for his adult life in the future. He says now that he feels so much happier now that he knows his family is safe, that there is a way to keep in touch and perhaps in the future he will find a way to see them again.

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Seeking safety

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