My name is Abdu. I’m a refugee from Eritrea.
I escaped Eritrea’s brutal military dictatorship when I was just 16. I have been in Britain since 2015.
I haven’t seen my family in five years. I miss them terribly and worry about them so much.
I hope that sharing my story will help you understand why this is so important.
In Eritrea, you are forced to join the military. They take you and you may never come back. One of my older brothers was taken in 2010. We don’t know if he’s alive or dead.
When I was 16, the soldiers came to my school. So I decided to escape.
The journey was terrible. In Libya, a lot of bad things happened. Everything you can imagine. I was imprisoned there for three months.
I made it to England where I was placed with a foster family, and eventually granted asylum. Now I’m living independently and studying Business at college. I hope to be a businessman in the future.
I never stop thinking about my family though. I discovered that my mum and younger siblings had escaped to Saudi Arabia. But my older brother and sister had gone missing. I’ve never heard from them again.
I managed to track down a number for my mum. Speaking to her was the best moment. It had been a year and a half since I’d heard her voice. Now I call her all the time, sometimes twice a week.
You need your family around you. For us young refugees, it would make us stronger. You try to progress your education but you are always worrying and missing them.
Despite this, the UK Government stops many refugees being reunited with their families.
But you could help change that.
In less than two weeks, on 16 March, there will be a debate in Parliament. MPs will be able to support a Bill that would propose changes to the law to allow refugees, including refugee children, to be reunited with their families.
We need 100 MPs to attend the debate. With just two weeks to go, we are close to that number, but there are still MPs who have not confirmed they will attend.
If I was to be reunited with my family in Britain it would be like a dream, Friend.
After all this time apart, I couldn’t ask for anything more.