Case studies

Rediscovering London

"I had been uneasy about the way the media portray refugees for a long time.  Time Together gave me the opportunity to act o­n my beliefs in a practical and positive manner.

I mentored Leonard, a refugee from Rwanda, for about a year and it was easy and enjoyable from the beginning. We used the time to explore London together.  Whilst Leonard really enjoyed getting to know London, even taking his children back to places we had visited together, I gained a lot of pleasure from sharing with him my favourite parts and also having the opportunity to revisit places I had not been to for years. Some of the places we visited, such as the Tower of London, I had never been to before, even though I have lived in London for years. 

The sights of London became the backdrop for discussions about our lives.  Leonard did not want to talk about what he had left behind, and what had caused him to flee his country.  He wanted to talk about the future - how best to get a job, his children’s education, the opportunities he would have here.  He was keen to improve his English and this was something we worked o­n together. 

By helping him with his English, both his language skills and his confidence improved rapidly.  He was always very grateful for the time I spent with him and I also gained a great deal from mentoring.  Not o­nly did it give me the opportunity to relate directly to someone from another culture and learn about the refugee experience, it also enabled me to see the city I had lived in for many years with fresh eyes." 

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