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10


China Wencai’s Story


Our Refugee, Integration and Employment Service (RIES) conducted 410 interviews, helping refugees get into education and work


“At first my asylum claim was refused, because the Home Office said I would only face a few years in prison for having been a member of Falun Gong. But they don’t understand the way it works in China. When we’re put in prison they can do whatever they like to you – there’s no justice.


“When I first arrived here I knew nobody. Scottish Refugee Council helped me to get a letter to enrol me in Anniesland College to learn English, and I’ve been going there for nearly eight years – the teachers have been great. Caseworkers at Scottish Refugee Council also helped me to get accommodation, and when the asylum support system changed, they helped me again to get another flat.


“When my asylum claim was refused, I had to gather a lot of information from China to help me with my appeal. At that point, I could have lost my accommodation and my financial support, so I would have had nothing. But the staff at Scottish Refugee Council stepped in to make sure I could stay in my flat, and they helped me claim my benefits back. They even helped me open a bank account.


“On 18 February, 2010, I got Indefinite Leave to Remain. After ten years waiting, I’d been very lonely and anxious. Now I’d like to find a job – I worked in the motor industry at home, but I’ve been studying to be a pastry chef here too. I’d do any job, though. Until I get a job I think I’ll still be a little bit afraid of the future.”


Read other stories like Wencai’s on our website, www.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk/refugeestories


Annual Review 2010 Scottish Refugee Council


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