The media4us blog showcases news articles by and about migrants, refugees and asylum seekers across the UK. See what’s important to migrants and discover the valuable contribution that migrants and refugees make to UK society.





It's all too much


Mental Health and asylum – alone at a crossroads

By Handsen Chikowore and Tania Farias ‘Mugabe, Mugabe, please don’t kill me!’ This was the terrifying cry from Mary*, a young black woman at a busy crossroads in the streets of Cardiff.  Although Mary was clearly frightened, pedestrians nearby were ignoring her, unaware that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was the cause for her unusual behavior. John*, an [...]

Rhiannon Hughes political cartoon


ignorant ian

By Rhiannon Hughes      

Refugee settlement in Calais. Photo by Chiara Lauvergnac


Calais three years on

By Zubair Gharghasht For refugees, hoping to find a home in Britain, life – of a sort – goes on, just across the Channel… Sangatte, on the northern coast of France overlooking the English Channel, is best known as the location of a refugee camp, closed in 2002 following concerns it was a base for [...]

Image by Surian Soosay


Somalis try to break mental health taboos

By Almaas Ali Social media, videos and focus groups are just some of the tools being used to help raise awareness of mental health issues within London’s Somali community. Mental illness is a social taboo amongst many Somalis in Britain, as sufferers are seen as weak, problematic and responsible for bringing shame on their families. [...]



A golden opportunity

By Gary Buswell Among the many positives of the Olympics this summer was the noticeable change of tone around reporting of migrants in the mainstream press. With a diverse array of British medallists inspiring a more open national pride throughout the country, familiar tabloid headlines of new arrivals here to “milk the system” were nowhere [...]



What future for the children of irregular migrants

by Nando Sigona More than 120,000 children living in the UK are at risk of isolation and serious crime as a result of their status as ‘irregular migrants’, researchers have found. The children, 65,000 of whom were born in the UK, often struggle to access basic healthcare and education because their families fear they will [...]

Ashraf Javdani outside Rokeby School in Newham. Photo by Ngalula Beatrice Kabutakapua.


The long road to teaching

By Beatrice Ngalula Kabutakapua Iranian teacher Ashraf Javdani recalls the struggle of finding a permanent position through the Jobcentre despite extensive teaching experience and university qualifications. Ashraf left Iran for London in 2005, before her country was hit by a series of anti-governmental demonstrations. With little knowledge of English, yet 15 years of experience working as [...]

Joe Timur of Sonita’s Kitchen in the West Yard of Camden Lock Market. Photo by Georgie Knaggs.


Camden Lock Market: A taste of the world, a recipe for success

By Georgie Knaggs Camden Lock Market, one of London’s most popular craft markets, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The market is one of the many in Camden that together receive some 15m visitors each year. The job of feeding these crowds falls in part to the chefs in the West Yard. Here the [...]

Luol Deng (right) with fellow Team GB basketball player ‘Pops’ Mensah- Bonsu (left) and Puerto Rican athlete Miguel Lopez Correa (centre) at the London 2012 Olympics. Photo by Eric Boateng.


Luol Deng: A man to look up to

By Carlos Villegas Team GB’s basketball star, winner of three major sportsmanship awards because of his ethical behaviour, fair play, and integrity on the court. A Sudanese refugee  who has not forgot his roots and works hard to bring education and sports to millions of displaced children in USA , UK and Sudan.   He plays [...]

Photo: UK Parliament


Parliament Week shows that Parliament is open to everyone

By Penny McLean   As part of Parliament Week 2012 Simple Acts is launching an online activity “Tell Your MP”, aimed at engaging migrants and refugees with the UK Parliament. Parliament Week (19-25 November 2012) aims to inform, connect and engage people across the UK with Parliamentary democracy. Coordinated by the House of Commons and the House of [...]

Writers presenting at the Exiled Lit Cafe


Prose in Plight, an evening at Poetry Café

by Hasani Hasani “Apartheid is the period I grew up in and it is the reason I came to the UK,” said Shereen Pandit an exiled writer from South Africa as she took to the microphone at a recent “Exiled Lit” event in London. Held at the Poetry Café in Betterton Street in London’s Covent [...]

Marcus Gheeraert's Portrait of Mary Rogers Lady Harington.


Focus on migration at the Tate

By Shirvan Arslan The Migrations: Journey into British Arts exhibition at Tate Britain explores the rich contribution of immigrants to British Arts. As a German with Kurdish-Armenian roots, the museum’s promise that it would “reveal how British Art has been fundamentally shaped by migration” aroused high expectations within me. Sadly it failed to deliver. The [...]

Dishing out lunch at the Southwark Day Centre's Copleston Centre


Pauline Nandoo: Reaching out to asylum seekers

By: Helena Argyle An interview with Pauline Nandoo (MBE), coordinator of the Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers (SDCAS) in London Helena Argyle (HA): The SDCAS offers a wide range of training courses designed to help refugees and asylum seekers equip themselves with skills necessary to integrate into British society. Can you give a specific [...]

Homeless asylum seekers in Bristol struggle to survive without access to basic rights and services. Photo by Simon Chapman.


Barefoot British asylum seeker

By: Farai Munyebvu     “It’s no longer a matter of hope or future anymore but survival,” says Rachael Bee, a trustee of Bristol Hospitality Network (BHN), a charity that tries to accommodate tens if not hundreds of desperate homeless failed asylum seekers across the Bristol area on a daily basis. “If it was a [...]

Osama Qashoo in London. Photo by Ellen Grefberg


Osama Qashoo’s London

By: Ellen Grefberg   It’s easy to understand why Palestinian filmmaker Osama Qashoo finds it difficult to trust people – after all, he was on the ill-fated Gaza ‘Freedom Flotilla’ in 2010, he’s been shot six times and imprisoned on 28 occasions since he was a boy and first threw stones at tanks. London has [...]

MKC photo competition


Czech media4us photo competition inspires

By: Tania Farias Indian dancers on the street, wedding rings with the names of the newly married couple, a small Japanese bridesmaid on a Czech-Japanese wedding, a father and a grandmother holding their babies proudly, children from different cultures playing together on the street. These were only some of the subjects that featured in the [...]



New student visa rules disadvantage migrants

By Tania Farias   Anita Morales, a 38-year-old Colombian single mother whose real name has been changed to protect her identity, arrived in London on March 2010 to study English as a second language. At the beginning, her Tier 4 student visa allowed her to work 20 hours per week. Then, she renewed it and [...]

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My Anti-Crime Campaign

By: Khadija Abdelhamid “RIP bro, just an indicator of the wasted values of the world we live in today, where a pair of trainers are held by some sick individuals to be more valuable than a man’s life” – Omar Farooq Begg, posted on Facebook after the tragic death of 18-year-old Seydou Diarrassouba, victim of [...]

Photo by Bastian Sander


Hiding in plain sight

By: Boucabar Diallo Many immigrants are living a double life since Prime Minister David Cameron urged the public in late 2011 to report suspected illegal immigrants in order to claim back UK borders. Saint Dumbuya, a 32-year-old immigrant from Ivory Coast who came to the UK in 2005, said he has never received any help from the [...]



Fat or fiction?

By: N. N. Dee English track and field athlete Jessica Ennis’ personal bests and record-breaking heptathletic feat could not have come at a more opportune time. Only last Friday it was revealed that a “high-ranking” athletics official had described Ennis as “fat”. What is remarkable about this is that anyone looking at Ennis would not [...]



Venezuelan political opposition abroad

By: Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo It was a cold and rainy Sunday even by London standards, but that didn’t stop 290 Venezuelan expatriates in the UK from coming together on February 12th in a central London hotel to take part in one of the most important political events in Venezuela: the first ever opposition’s primaries held abroad. [...]

Photo by Amanda Schutz


A Ukrainian Easter in London

By Christina Senechyn The spirit of Ukrainian Easter remains strong and essential within the Ukrainian community in the UK. This is the major religious holiday in Ukraine. In the UK, the Ukrainian community still follows the tradition of going to church in the morning and coming home to spend time with family over the traditional [...]



Where there is no sunlight: one worker’s story

By: Khadija Najlaou A domestic worker from Morocco, Najilaou is now working in London and tells the story of her struggle for rights and dignity. I am 44 years old but I have only spent seven years at school. My family was very poor and they couldn’t afford to send me to school so I [...]

Kosovar Albanian Young People photoEds


British Kosovar Albanian’s celebrate independence

By Remzije Duli More than 240 people from the Kosovar Albanian community in London celebrated the fourth anniversary of the Independence of Kosovo on February 23rd with a fun-packed event organised and run by the British Albanian Kosovar Council (BAKC) and British young people of Kosovar Albanian heritage. The free event brought together family and [...]



16,000 miles from London to Mongolia

By: Pietro Acquistapace I was born in Valmorea, a little village west of Lake Como in the north of Italy, 35 years ago. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Italy, but nothing can compare to the beauty of Mongolia. I became interested in Mongolia when I was 16 years old and my interest [...]

In Pictures

026_TNL Summer 2014_by Billy The Hipster

From asylum seeker to job seeker

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