Michael’s story

“In Eritrea we used to work in agriculture we have big farming and in yearly basis we plant and maize and other harvest and also, we used to study. I left my country because of the regime and the slavery. In Eritrea we have dictatorship for 30 years and you’re literally get  forced for military  service without your concern even when you are a student and will spend the rest of your life in the army. If you refuse that you will be detained for life or get killed. There are only these two options.

Over 15,000 people have been detained in my country without going to court. We have Muslim scholars and a Christian priest in prison for over 25 years. Also, we have politicians and diplomats. intellectuals and journalists who have been in prison since September 2001. Since then we don’t even know if they are alive or dead. This is just a little bit from the struggle of my people in my country and that’s why we flee the country .

I was separated from my wife since 2013 which is been almost 8 years. It feels very very bad and hard to be apart from your wife and especially in Europe. I was always worried and stressed about it but thankfully we’re reunited now and very happy to be together and have family. Thank you for playing a measure part in our journey to the UK.

Whilst we were apart my wife was living in small village in my country by the border of the Sudan and it has never been safe. She has been in prison couple of times, and she was always threatened by the local authorities because of me leaving the country.

The visa application process was good and very quick to be honest except the expensive fee for the Solicitor and the time-consuming procedures.

To other families in the same position, I would say just be patient and don’t give up. Try to contact with your wife and give her hopes that you’re going to meet one day and always be supportive and try to help financially and emotionally.

In the future is first my wife is going to start college and learn English to engage with people and about the culture and to be understood. We are planning to find a work for my wife whether it’s volunteer or paid. And also (not soon) but we expand the family by having a child.”