” Be there for your Community and Be there for your people and Something good will happen in return” ( My beloved mother)….First of all, I want to thank my creator and All of my well-wishers, Friends & families, My faculty Cohorts, and Organisations who always support me and inspire me to stand up and go forward.
See the link- https://www.organised.fun/nsvas2021/the-extra-mile-award
Life was very uncertain for me at the beginning of 2017 when I was trafficked to the UK by my ex-in-laws. I still remember those days working in a restaurant as a slave and do not have any means to protest or say anything and not getting paid and barely once a day food. This continued (my confinement) for nearly 6 months before I was been rescued.
Everything was very very hard at that time. leaving my one-half-year-old son behind with my exploiters, heading towards the uncertainty of my future, not having anyone besides me. I was been told by my ex-in-laws if I try to do anything then I will lose the chance to see my son and maybe I will vanish from this world. All my documents and paper works was been confiscated by them and I was illegal and did not have any choice rather than to listen to them on what to do or not. It makes me cry I could not ever buy a single 10 p sweets for my son in those days even I used to work 12 hours a day in the restaurant for them. I still get scared and fit when I see big lorries sometimes as when I was trafficked I was inside a box for 21 hours from France just to see my son as I haven’t seen him after he was born. I did not have any choice to see my British child and I was deceived by my ex’s family.
Apologies for bringing this up a bit from my journey but I wish one day I will get some help to write a book about my journey. I have never stopped. I have lost so many things from my life. The trauma, uncertainty of my life still follow me. I do no know I will be able to finish my studies because my claim is still pending and I can be deported anytime by the UK home office.
As my mother was a school headteacher she always inspired me about Education. She told me “Education always distinguishes between good and bad. I want you to be educated and help people like you who have faced injustice and show them the light of life and do not make them lost because of their bad past.
I have tried to pursue my mother’s dream. Back in 2018 through my case, I have established the right to higher education for asylum seekers in the UK. Before that there was an automatic study ban on asylum seekers even they are been given a scholarship. Read my full blog about that journey here- https://abirking.com/changing-the-bail-act-of-immigration-for-new-asylum-seekers-higher-education-right-in-2018-campaign-for-scholarship-and-change-lives-by-md/
Since then through my campaign with organizations, we have managed to push the local universities to announced scholarships for asylum seekers. Since 2019 Northumbria University is giving 5 scholarships to potential asylum seekers and 3 scholarships by Newcastle University. This has changed 13 asylum seekers’ life so far including me to be educated and be there for their community.
In the pandemic before the lockdown started, I have started “Md’s Little help food bank” where I have managed to drop 700 food packs to the local community using my bike and help from others in 5 months period. I still remember I had to defer my University course and exam while i was doing this. Please see the blog for more information- https://abirking.com/mds-little-help-foodbank-covid19/. Being an asylum seeker and living on £37/week it was not easy for me to pursue it.
Through our first semester in law from 2020 September, our university had a serious IT hack in their system and it was very very hard for the newbies to cope with this as we did not have an online platform to go ( as all are hacked) and then faculty has to adopt external things to keep going. How hard it was for a first-year uni student you can imagine. I have opened a whats app chat and tried my best to share that faculty information to everyone in the course using social media as well. bearing in mind this IT incident had happened even before the students had a chance to share their proper email address or get their university email address has been provided. I was a student rep in my foundation year and my experience helped me a lot to go forward in this situation to help my cohorts. I am also a student rep for this semester for 400 LAw students in my course.
I work for Fire service, Citizens advice, NHS vaccine volunteer ( VODA), Trustee for West end Refugee Services, National student union delegate, Refugee Week leader, Advisory Panel member for the Refugee Week UK, Advisory Panel member for the National City of Sanctuary Movement and Sanctuary Ambassador and Founder of My own MDs Little help food bank and Dinner club. Oh forgot to mention I have a travel blog and also a Little help dinner club where I try to make a bridge between the local community and asylum seekers in the community. See this blog post if you have time- https://abirking.com/i-have-celebrated-my-birthday-with-local-asylum-seeker-doing-dinner-togather-what-about-you-mds-little-help-dinner-club/.
While my own University has not nominated me for this Award I was not really thinking I will even get a nomination for National Award like this. I would like to admit my gratitude to Cllr. Simon Cronin for this nomination. The day when the announcement will happen I was dropping Eid gift to the local asylum seekers. This year Ramadan (fasting session for Muslims) I have saved some money from my food cost ( £38.75/week) as I eat less food in fasting and used that money to buy some gifts for the asylum seekers in the hostel where they live Newcastle.
While I finished dropping the Eid gift this I was walking on the field and watching the announcement.. I can not still express the moment I was been announced as a winner. One of the best moments of my life. Surprisingly my friend Mohaned was with me at that time. I have straightway thanked my creator and my mother and everyone and give a speech at the ceremony. Watch the full video😍😍😍❤️🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳👇🏽👇🏽
😊😊😊🙏🏽🙏🏽. I would like to thank my creator and all of you, everyone for your blessings and kind support. Without you I am nothing and I really wish with your kind support I will be able to finish my studies and I wish to continue to be there for my community. Thanks to My community, NSVA, My mother and my father, Simon Cronin, My friends and family, My Law school, Northumbria University, Northumbria Students union, All of the uni course cohorts, Claudia Shaw, City of Sanctuary UK, Colleen Molly, Andrea Carter, Emily Zaara, Tom green, Jeff Morgan, Claminie, Rosie Tapsfield, Rachel Tindale, Dr Katherine Cassidy, Delphine Defossez, Jonathan, Adam R, Robin Fry, Savannah Middleton, Katherine Davies, Pamela, Barrister Anirudh Mathur, Tessa S, Habib Rahaman, Robin Asby, Joan Hewitt, The no to Hockersfield, D6, Curious Monkey, Refugee week, Hope for the young, North Tyneside VODA, North Tyneside CCG, Action Foundation, Salusbury World and many more of my wellwishers for your kind support and comments and wishes. My journey still continues and please keep me in your blessings. This award will be a pathway for me to inspire more people like me to come forward for the community. ❤️❤️❤️