Thursday, 23 April 2015


Once upon a time I lived in a state called Tasmania. It was and is a beautiful island of mountains and rivers, beaches and forests. The snow fell in winter, the sun shone in summer, sometimes. There were farms and orchards, fish aplenty in the seas, in Tasmania I had a life that many would envy.

Except there was darkness. A sad childhood which repercussions were still rippling through my life decades after the abuse had stopped, a marriage which ended due to violence and the loss of two babies. I had had enough of Tasmania's memories, of it's darkness, of it's prison like atmosphere, for Tasmania's first role in the British occupation was that of a prison, and to me that's what Tasmania represented.

I had to leave. I chose the UK. I arranged the correct legal documents, I sold my possessions, I saved my wages and I emigrated. I found a flat, I found a job, I built a new life. I rescued myself and restarted my life. I have a wonderful job, a beautiful family, a home of my own, and wonderful friends and contacts all around the world. I am blessed beyond measure.

I didn't have to walk the Sahara wondering with every step would I survive. I wasn't chased down by my government. I didn't have to pay people smugglers. I had a nice seat on a lovely plane next to a wonderful lady, herself an immigrant, but the other way, returning to England to see family.

Being a migrant is my identity, like my father before me, like my ancestors. We have a family history of migration, of starting again.

I have a desk in an office in Manchester and one of my colleagues John, worked for the Eritrean Community. I think of him often, and the stories he would tell me of his homeland that he loves so much and misses every day. He works tirelessly to help those in his community but also to fulfil his father's wish to share his language and culture and to get his PhD whilst also providing for his family. When I talked to him about his views on home and the risk of dying he sung this to me.

This world is not my home
I'm just a-passing through
My treasures are laid up
Somewhere beyond the blue.

The angels beckon me
From heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home
In this world anymore.

I don't know what the answers are but I do know no child is born to die at sea, and they are not meant for heaven yet. I do know we need to act compassionately. Whenever faced with issues I still go to the faith of my childhood and my Sunday school belief of what would Jesus do.

"What you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for Me"


Save The Children 

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