A pharmacist on a mission to help others

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My name is Samwel. In Middle East I faced much persecution because of my political and religious beliefs, leading me to claim asylum in United Kingdom. In June 2014 I fled my country and arrived in the United Kingdom seeking asylum after serious life - threatening accidents that I faced from Islamist groups targeting me as a result of my active role in the church and local community. I was involved in a Christian ministry in my county, which made me stand out as a target for Islamist groups to persecute.

Such incidents have become increasingly common, especially since the uprisings in Middle East in  2011, when the region saw a sudden rise in Islamic fanaticism and a general break down of law and order, that has still not been overcome.

What happened to me forced me to leave my country and stop work but didn't stop me from having the ambition to pursue the hard work necessary to achieve what I dreamt of in building a career that I really like, one which would reflect on the quality of work I do in the benefit of others. Indeed, it wasn’t easy but when I heard about the Restart Refugee programme I knew I had a reason to hope. Many people of me just dream to have a shot at a good education and work. This is what makes us feel like we can be a part of the UK community in a real way. Especially for me in my work, I get to help and care for people that are facing difficult times. I know I was born to serve so being unable to do this make me feel useless.

Restart refugee program listened to my story and helped me when I had no other options, they gave me an interest free loan to help me fund a course I am required to undertake in order to continue my profession in the medical field and start my new life here life in the UK. When I was training and had very low income they paused my repayments until I can afford them. I never felt stressed but actually was very supported.

With thanks to God I managed to pass all my exams and achieved my Master degree and now I will start my new job in the hospital this October. I achieved very good progress in my course and even became an ambassador. Without the funds I received from Restart I honestly would not have been able to be where I am as the fees were completely unaffordable.

I genuinely cannot thank the Restart team enough, you have helped me to make my dreams come true.

Restart Refugee Support