Dawit and Genet’s story

Asylum Welcome works tirelessly to support families separated by persecution and to make the limited legal routes available for family reunion possible. Asylum seekers and refugees come to us separated from their family and loved ones marooned in foreign refugee camps. We provide a unique service in the region, reuniting asylum seeking families and helping them to settle in the UK. This area of our work is entirely funded by local donations. This is one story about our work helping to reunite families.

In their native Eritrea, Dawit and Genet faced prison for refusing to renounce their Pentecostal faith. They escaped to neighbouring Sudan, but there is religious persecution there too, so Dawit made the perilous journey across desert and sea that finally brought him to England. However, on claiming asylum he was detained and placed in Campsfield Detention Centre, north of Oxford.

Over many months, Asylum Welcome volunteers visited Dawit in Campsfield. We helped secure his release and found him a family to stay with. We arranged lessons for him in English and computer skills, helping him back on his feet. At this time, Dawit appeared in a short film made by Asylum Welcome

Once Dawit’s asylum claim was approved, an Asylum Welcome volunteer helped Genet to apply for Family Reunion to join him, and then to travel to England by a safe route. After two and a half years apart, they were finally reunited in 2017.

A year later their daughter, Peniel, was born. Today, the family are doing well and Dawit and Genet are working hard to make ends meet.