I am never too sure who reads this blog (if anyone) but if you are then please do not just read it, today i am asking that you do something too. Something that could radically change three lives for the better. Those lives are Robert Swinfen, and Alison Phipps, friends of mine in Glasgow and Rima. This is Rima's story.
Rima, now 17 years old, arrived in the UK in March 2008, fleeing persecution in Eritrea and then racist neglect, destitution and physical harm in Italy. She came to stay with Robert Swinfen and Alison Phipps in Glasgow in March 2009, and they have become a close-knit family unit. Rima has a strong case for asylum from Eritrea, but under the Dublin Regulation is now liable to be returned to Italy.
She has come to love Robert and Alison as her Dad and Mum, and they have very strong parental feelings for her too. For the past year they, with some help from friends, have provided her entire support as if she were indeed their foster daughter. Rima is extremely vulnerable and in need of a secure family to recover from the trauma and chaos of the past three years of her life. She is doing very well, but is far from ready to live on her own and both wants and needs to continue living with her British Mum and Dad. Rima is now in real danger of being forcibly taken from her home in Scotland, in the next week, sent into Yarl’s Wood, and then deported to Italy.
You can make a difference by writing to your MP, MEP and the Home Secretary or even just by signing an on line petition to get the Home Sec. to intervene in this case to allow Rima to remain in the UK because she now has many strong relationships and a foster-family who will continue to support and love her for as long as she needs.
Rima will be 18 on 1st July this year, but the trauma and upheaval which she has suffered mean that she will need to be part of a family for some years to come. It would be so cruel to tear her away from parents for a second time, repeating the trauma from which she is beginning to recover, and so I am asking that you do what ever you can to help her to stay in the UK.
Please go to www.ipetitions.com/petition/rima and www.ncadc.org.uk/NCADC-Campaigns/rima/html or email me if you want a sample letter to send to the relevant people which you can do on line by http://www.writetothem.com/.
If you feel unable to do any of that and you believe in prayer, then please pray.