Ghani's story

Ghani's story

Ghani, 20, arrived in the UK in 2018

Ghani arrived in the UK in 2018

Ghani, 20, arrived in the UK in 2018 when he was just 15. Originally from Afghanistan, he arrived as an unaccompanied child and had previously spent just over a year living in one of the camps for asylum seekers in France. Ghani is now supported by Wigan Council’s leaving care team.

Ghani says...

I didn’t feel alone on the journey from Afghanistan as I was with some older people who helped me on the way.

I wanted to come to the UK to find my uncle, but I had to stay in France for 14 months first. The camp there was ok; they were very strict about when you could leave, but because I was very young, I was given a social worker and they helped me go to school.

I met some other people my age so even though it wasn’t easy, and I felt like I spent a long time waiting, I tried to take it one day at a time and pass the time by playing cricket with the friends I’d made. I tried not to think too much about the future.

I eventually flew to Manchester Airport, and I was taken to Manchester to live with a foster family there for around four or five months. I wasn’t allowed to go to school at first but there was a teacher who came to the home to teach me English.

English is a hard language to learn. I was very shy then and I was nervous to go to a shop and ask for something, so I would always go with a group of friends and listen to what they said and try to learn.

Eventually I was allowed to go to school. After a few months I moved to another foster family in Altrincham, but I was allowed to stay at the same school and travelled every day there and back.

School was nice most of the time. I was still learning English and sometimes I would worry that people would laugh at me if I admitted I didn’t understand what the teacher had said, so I would pretend I had understood it and then go home and use Google to translate what had been said.

The best part about school was that I was on the cricket team. I love all sports and especially cricket and I played for two years.

The foster carers I have had have helped me loads. When I look back, I didn’t know anything at all, they taught me everything about life and what to do.

Afghanistan is very different to the UK. People are not free and there are no laws to protect children. For example, it doesn’t matter if children go to school or not, so some do and some don’t, and nothing is checked to make sure they are ok.

I was in a very different situation there, I didn’t live in a city, I lived in the mountains, so it is very different here.

In Afghanistan most people do not like the Taliban. There is poverty and they are not good to people. An ordinary person has no power or control over their own life.

There are some things I miss. I miss my mum and my brother; he will be 17 now. I miss my friend and I miss the area, the mountains, and the community.

There are not many similarities between Afghanistan and the UK but I still go to the Mosque most days and especially on Fridays as I did there, and I can still celebrate Eid.

I’ve now been to college to study an electrician’s course and I am also working towards my GCSE’s so that I can pass the electrician’s course. The work isn’t hard but I’m not good at exams as I’m still working on my written English. I’ve just passed my driving test first time!

My hopes for the future are the same as most people’s, a nice house and job and car. My dream job would be to play cricket.

To anyone in the UK who meets someone from a different country, I would say, please be nice and kind. We should all be nice and respectful to each other anyway; it shouldn’t matter where we come from.

To anyone who has come from a different country and who is new to the UK, I would say, take opportunities, learn from others, and ask for what you need as most people will give you help and advice.

Something in front of you might sometimes look hard, but when you achieve it, you might find it was very easy.

If you are interested in finding out more about fostering in Wigan, complete our online enquiry form or call 01942 487200.

Posted on Monday 18th September 2023

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