Aged 33, Nimo; Somali wife and mother of seven has been reunited with her family after three years apart. I have been supporting Nimo through the past year and have been struck by her strength, resilience and devotion to her family. Whilst she has been travelling to the UK and seeking asylum, her husband has been caring for all seven children. Last month, I finally had the privilege of meeting Abdi, Nimo’s husband, and all seven of their smiling, peaceful children. The family emit such warmth and gentleness, and have a tangible bond when you are with them. Finally I could see all the clearer how a piece of Nimo was missing while she was here without them. Their being together means everything.
The situation in Somalia had made it impossible to stay, Nimo fled, but not before sustaining an injury during an attack in their home. This injury affects Nimo’s daily life, yet since arriving in the UK, she has managed to learn English, support her family, and save enough money to apply for a family reunion. Having glimpsed the grief of separation and Nimo’s one-track mind of bringing her family here, it’s so clear that Nimo, like so many others, left her country and family as a last resort. I am so glad she found her way to the UK, and grateful that the 1951 UN Refugee Convention enables people to find refuge and rebuild their lives in our country. Nimo’s family have been here one month and are already busy looking into courses and community groups they can join. Abdi wants to be a businessman, and her eldest daughter hopes to be a midwife. I am convinced they will make a great contribution to our society; we have a lot to learn from their contentment, determination and optimism in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.