Salma and Khalid

“My husband and I are from Sudan. My husband is my cousin, in our tribe, marrying a cousin is seen as cultural norm. Thankfully, after having been in love with my cousin, we became husband and wife. I am an architect, and my husband is a civil engineer. We were working in the same field in Sudan.

Getting a job was difficult due to ethnic issues in the country but we managed to get one. I had to leave Sudan because I had problems with the security and intelligence services, which resulted in misunderstanding with them. I spent more than two and a half years away from my husband, during which time I ended up feeling lonely, painful, and isolated.

In spite of the fact that the UK offered me care, help, financial and moral support I still felt incomplete, and something was missing.

The procedures with a lawyer were so stressful, I had to provide supporting documents, marriage certificate, WhatsApp conversations, emails, marriage photos, birth certificates, translating conversations to English. I had to attach lots of money receipts to ensure that I have been in continuous contact with my husband, and they also have put in a request for my husband to be interviewed at the British Embassy in Sudan.

No sooner had my husband been granted visa, than I felt the need to look for an organization to assist me with the cost of the ticket fare. Therefore, I contacted Together Now and explained the circumstances we have been going through. As we cannot afford the travel costs. Together Now was really understanding and supportive. My request was approved. Then I was in direct contact with my caseworker who was extremely kind, generous, and patient.

My caseworkers did complete the work thoroughly as well as the other procedure needed for travel assistance. She booked the ticket and explained to me in full details of what would happen. when my husband arrived in London, he had to self-isolate for 10 days. upon completion, she booked him a ticket to come to the place where I live.  Of course, things got complicated at the last day when he was quarantining but she did her best to contain the situation so he could leave the hotel and get his flight to Belfast.

I am so pleased as now my husband has joined me, I feel safe and sound. My husband and I are planning to study and work, and we will do whatever possible to forget the painful times we had experienced.  And we look forward to having a successful future.

I advise families not to give up but to struggle until they are reunited in one place. I also advise them to overcome the pain and seek stability, work, and success.”