Category Archives: asylum

Suffer the little children…

Dawn raids are a fact of life for asylum seekers across the country. Here in the north-east. Around the corner from you and me. It happens. Families torn from their homes. Little children frightened and confused. It’s happened to families I know. It’s a constant threat to more.

So what is it like being taken from your home and sent to a detention centre?
Here is an account by a 10 year old boy

This can’t be allowed to continue.

The Ozdemirs

Good news of sorts.

Hatin, Susan and Denis were not deported yesterday, but returned to Yarls Wood – apparently Hatin was taken ill and so they wouldn’t let her go. She’s also making an asylum application on her own behalf. But they’re still at the detension centre – I just hope the authorities will let them come home to Newcastle while things are sorted out…

But Hidayet was sent back to Turkey – how can it be right to separate the family like that? It all just seems so unfair.

The Ozdemirs

At 1145 this morning, Susan (11) and Denis (7) and their mum and dad, Hatin and Hidayet, were forced onto a plane at Heathrow, deported to Turkey. They were taken from their house before school on Monday morning. No warning. No time to pack properly. No time for Denis and Susan to say goodbye to their friends. They’d been here for 5 years. Denis speaks Turkish with a geordie accent. How can sending him back to a place he has no recollection of be right?

Mrs D and I visited the family every week for the past 2 years – Susan and Denis were two of the most regular Kidz Klub members. They are lovely kids from a lovely family.

Memories will include…

  • Denis always starting his sentences with ‘do you know what…’
  • Susan gaining so much confidence after her surgery…
  • Denis’ 6th birthday party – we were invited – what an honour – dancing to Kurdish music in their dining room, complete with hanky in hand…!
  • Eating home-made baclava on one of our visits…
  • Praying with Hatin when she was having nightmares…
  • The trip to Cragside last year with Hub International…
  • Seeing them run up the path to Kidz Klub every week – usually the last ones there – but full of anticipation of the fun they would have…

and so much more…

We’ll miss them – but we can only hope (and know) that God will keep them safe, protect them from harm and guide their steps. Psalm 121 seems an appropriate prayer for them…

I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you – the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.