My story as a refugee from a war-torn African country and how Daisyhouse helped me to create a new life for myself in Ireland.
I first became homeless far away in Africa when war raged in my country. Tribe against tribe. Guns and knives and fires. Killing and destruction. We lived in fear in the only home we knew. When the fighting reached our village, we fled in the dark night, families trying to stay together and not lose one another. Small children crying in fear. Trucks waited at Red Cross Centres to take us to safer areas. By the end of our long journey through the night, I had become separated from my family. We had been taken in different directions, across different borders to refugee camps. Although efforts were made to re-unite families, sometimes because of the chaos of war, it was not possible.
I came to Ireland as a refugee as I had an older relative here who sponsored me. Sadly she became ill and could not care for me. I was placed with an Irish family who welcomed me and looked after me until I became an adult.
It was then that Daisyhouse opened their doors to me. I came to them as a young adult seeking to stretch my wings and they welcomed and nurtured me. I found the space there to grow and flourish. When difficulties and hurdles arose in front of me, they were there to speak on my behalf, to guide me when I needed a strong voice to encourage me. My small flat in Daisyhouse was a refuge for me and I remember it as a place where I grew strong. I had privacy and room to develop with support when I needed it. This was a vital time for me to begin to make a life which would be sustainable and give me independence. I wanted to make my contribution to this country where I have been given a home. Thank you to Daisyhouse and to all who have made my life a good one.
Today, ten years later, with the help of the Red Cross, I have located some members of my original family in Africa, and I have visited them. I have a home and work that I love. I have been given an education and I have tried to work hard in return for all the generosity of those who have helped me. I am settled and grateful to everyone who supported me.