Case studies

Sam and Mohammed

After completing mentor training in January 2005, Sam was matched with Mohammed, a refugee from Kurdish Iraq. Mohammed left Iraq fearing for his life, and has been living in the UK since September 2002. Since his arrival he has found it difficult to feel at home in his new community, particularly because of the language barriers. He misses the support of his family and has encountered racist attitudes. As he explains, "I was very tired and felt frightened about everything living away from my family and o­n my own was sometimes hard."

Sam has started to help Mohammed to overcome some of the difficulties he faces. Their mentoring sessions have been particularly useful in helping him to understand the UK system and improve his English. As Sam explains, "I have helped Mohammed to improve his English and his confidence in using it. I have also helped him to register at the library and shown him how to use the internet and email."

Sam has also gained much from the time he has spent with Mohammed, "I hoped to find out something about another way of life and at a basic level to make a new friend. Both my expectations have been fulfilled."

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