"I've got absolutely no control over any aspect of my life. They've achieved that much."

A harrowing account of the hostile environment faced by asylum-seekers in NI, who are not allowed to work to support themselves. Right to an Income | Fri Oct 23 2020
"I feel like I've got a purposeless life, you know?"

Transcript:

I have been living in Northern Ireland for over two and a half years now. I've a qualification in Information Technology and I've worked in various roles in I.T. such as Data Analyst, e-Commerce Specialist. I'm passionate about Computer Science, data science to be precise.

So, not being able to work has, for me... has really deteriorated my mental health. I'm always anxious. I feel like I've got a purposeless life, you know?

Most of the time I'm depressed because I'm not able to provide for my children. I've got children back home. I'm not able to provide for them and that makes me feel like I've failed as a parent. As well as for my child here, because I can't afford anything. She never really gets to fully integrate with other children in her school or her friends because I never have money for all these activities that they want to do.

Not being able to work, it's just depressing.

I have to live on five pounds a day, you know? I can't afford things like sanitary products, so it's just a disgraceful life, you know? Most of the time I feel like it's just not me, not who I am. I used to work before and I could manage my own life. Now I can't plan anything, you know? I've no control. Especially my children's future.

I just have no control. Everything just hangs on the Home Office and their decision. You know... yeah, there's just no dignity in this kind of life, like, relying on foodbanks and charity organisations.

I've got absolutely no control over any aspect of my life, and yeah, it's just not an easy life. It's definitely hostile.

I mean, they've achieved that much, you know?

Yeah, anyway...