In January this year, Ahed, Ola and Adl, three sisters, arrived in the UK with their mother from Syria, becoming the 28th refugee family to be supported by SHP in Lambeth.

Shortly after arriving, the UK went into lockdown putting some of their intentions on hold. Though, this hasn’t stopped them from making the best of their time in Lambeth. We hear first-hand, about their experiences so far:

Adl

Before I came to Britain, my life was psychologically and financially unstable. I felt insecure. My health deteriorated slightly, all because of the war, but when I came to Britain, my life changed for the better.

I felt safe again - having stability, happiness and self-confidence. We have a beautiful house,  excellent health care and we are registered in language schools. All this has happened through wonderful British people who helped us since we arrived at the airport. We have, of course, faced some difficulties such as learning language, communicating with people, very cold weather in Britain and feelings of longing, sadness and pain.

There were other challenges like the separation of my brothers and children in Jordan and the emergence of coronavirus two months after we arrived. Ahed's illness was the worst thing that happened to us, but medical care in the hospital was excellent and we are grateful to them for the healing of my sister and her condition improved. Despite the shadow of Corona, we feel safe because of this wonderful attention in all respects - health, material and morally.

As for learning English, Ms. Barbara is now using a WhatsApp group with a group of nice ladies (Shuna, Rachel, Jane and Louise) where we take English lessons through the Zoom program. We also attended a course through the Zoom program to learn photography and English with Sarah. I am now happy and grateful to Britain and all the people around me; and I wish to learn English quickly so that I can work and try to pay back this wonderful country that has become a major part of my life and feel its direction of belonging and loving.

Ola

We arrived in London five months ago. We received a beautiful, healthy home that was arranged by a group of nice women. My sister, Ahed, and I enrolled in a school, whilst my sister, Adl, we registered in the college.

Unfortunately because of Corona we did not manage to study but my dear Barbara group taught us English at home and a we joined a group, Sarah Photography, which includes different nationalities. We learn photography. We ask us to write a story about pictures that you send us and take specific photos.

SLRA Women group also sent us pieces of fabric to make a quilt. Our achievements are integrating into society; learning about British women; using transportation; paying taxes, filling gas and electricity. We can bring medicine and all we need. We respect the country and the people who live here. We know our rights and live up to our duties. My dream is to learn English quickly.

Ahed

Hi my name is Ahed, I am 17 years old, I came out of Syria because of the war on a cruel journey and suffering across the border to Jordan, I was 11 years old, leaving behind me my house, my school and everything related to my childhood and my memories. 

In Jordan at first, I didn't find a school to study, and that's hurts me so badly, I didn't have friends and I felt depressed and I was very sad until a new school year begins, and my aunt paid for my studies in a private school, I made new friends and I was focusing on my English and trying to improve it and lived in the hope of coming to Britain where my brother lives, and my dream came true and we came here at the beginning of 2020. 

My happiness completed when I signed in a school here so I met new friends from different countries, I only stayed in school for a week, then the school was closed because of the spread of  Covid-19 and now I am following my lessons online. 

Unfortunately, a month ago I was very sick, my family called the emergency services and they called for an ambulance and they came fast. 

I went to Kings college hospital, and I stayed for a whole week. 

And yet I am still completing my treatment at home, I am very grateful to the medical team who took care of me. 

I'm on the way to make my other dreams come true and I wish to receive support and encouragement to complete my studies and fulfil my dream and be a part of the building and development of Britain in the future.