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“Then I heard the door. I woke up. And when I saw a big envelope coming through the letterbox my heart was beating, too much. At first I didn’t open it. I prayed, I prayed, I said help me God. I opened it, and when I saw the world ‘allowed’ my heart opened. I felt like somebody had saved my life.

“This process is very difficult when you’re young. It’s very scary, very frightening. The services you get from Scottish Refugee Council make things easier when you get here and you don’t know what to do. When I got here I started applying for all the colleges, and after nine months I got a letter from Glasgow Central College and now I feel like I’m getting on better.

“When I was small, I just wanted to be a good man, a big man. I wanted to grow up, to be famous. I started boxing and I liked it. I did it for six years and I won lots of fights, but nobody helped me. There was no-one there to help me to become a professional. In Afghanistan they’ve got good sportsmen, but nobody cares.

“That was when I was a child. This is now. Let’s see what happens. I want to start boxing again. But also in the future I just want to help people. Because I saw in my country that nobody cared about anything or anyone else. Maybe here I can do something.”

Read more about Shah’s story on our website,

Our staff and volunteers gave an average of 1600 advice sessions each month through our One Stop Service in 2010

During the year we produced or updated around 30 client information leaflets for people at all stages in the asylum process as well as refugees

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