8 December 2023: A group of people who are still fighting for their stay in this country (called Friends of Status Now) living in the West Midlands underwent media training on Monday 4th December 2023.
Status Now 4 All Campaign organised the training to help the group members to sharpen their skills on how to tell their story to the media.
One of the Co-chairs for Status Now 4 All Campaign ( https://www.statusnow4all.org ) Mariam Yusuf said “The training was useful for people with lived experience. They will be equipped with skills on how to share their stories with confidence and are comfortable to engage in speaking out”
The charity Migrant Voice (https://www.migrantvoice.org) provided the media training which took place in Birmingham.
The Director for Migrant Voice, Nazek Ramadan who was part of the training team said “It is vital that we migrants speak for ourselves and tell our own stories in order to advocate for our rights and the society we want to live in.”
She added, “It was great to see many migrants participating in the training and eager to engage in and support the SNN campaign, ensuring their voices and lived experience are at the heart of the campaign. Migrant Voice is proud to support this.”
There are a number of people who are living without status in this country. They are denied access to cash or benefits and it is illegal to work. They survive on the goodwill of others and charities
A Friends of Status Now group member called Siga (not real name) from the Middle East said “I am tired of my life. I want someone to help me tell my story”
Status Now 4 All campaign is asking the UK government and Ireland to give indefinite Leave To Remain to everyone that is living in the shadows so that they too can live as human beings, with dignity, as everyone else. The call for regularisation of status is sweeping across the world. On 16 September 2023 thousands of people in 14 cities in Canada, as well as the UK, France and Spain took to the streets to demand equality and ensure permanent resident status for all https://youtu.be/CdyMM0WErzA?feature=shared
Faith Ngcobo, the chairperson for Birmingham Asylum and Refugee Association (BARA) which hosted the event and a signatory of the campaign said in closing “It is a pleasure to see so many people who want to speak up on how hostile environment is impacting on their lives.”
“We can not continue to suffer in silence,” she concluded.
By Loraine Masiya Mponela