Contributed by The Black Country and Birmingham Refugee and Migrant Centre
As part of Refugee Week 2020 we have asked various organisations and individuals to share their stories, artwork, poetry, creative writing and film to celebrate the contribution of refugees past and present to Walsall.
Here we present the second story submitted by The Black Country and Birmingham Refugee and Migrant Centre.
Koutayba, his wife and two small children, arrived in Walsall in March 2017 having lived in Refugee camps for 5 years. During this time, Koutayba was forced to take any available work in order to support his family, mostly hard labour, which led to several health problems.
Upon coming into the area, they were very grateful for any assistance they received. His main needs were to access healthcare provision for chronic knee and back pain and for his son to access school. From the start Koutayba was very eager to learn English and to find a job.
RMC Resettlement Caseworkers assisted with every appointment for the first year and took the family to register with their local GP, Dentist and Optician. RMC also assisted with health visitor appointments, finding a school place and with local orientation.
Now, their eldest child attends a local school, their daughter regularly attends a local nursery and Riyam, Koutayba’s wife continues to study English. Koutayba has worked extremely hard in his English classes and this recently paid off when he gained employment as a kitchen assistant at a restaurant in Willenhall.
Koutayba said: “I am so grateful for having been given the chance to make a new start here.”