6 Oct 2021
Two years ago, in October 2019, We Belong became an official charity advocating for a shorter, more affordable route to settlement. Led by young people with lived experience of the system they were campaigning to change, today We Belong continues to be the UK's first charity led by young migrants, for young migrants.
2 years is just the beginning, but we have already been able to spark change for hundreds of young migrants in the UK.
At We Belong, our aim has always been to see tangible changes for the lives of young migrants in the UK who are 'British in all but paperwork'. We strive for policy change, but also the development of young migrants in our network into confident and capable young leaders.
Here is an example of how our work over the past two years has seen impact: here is how Milana, after joining our network of young migrants keen to spark change, "felt much stronger and capable to keep fighting and facing all the challenges that I have to go through."
When I realised that I couldn’t go to university, I was shocked and I was feeling extremely lost. Then I started searching for organisations that could possibly help me, I was really lucky to find We Belong. When I sent them an email, the outreach officer at We Belong contacted me. She was interested in getting to know my story and problems, she was really supportive and kind. Afterwards, she kept being in contact with me.
Although We Belong is located in London and that made me feel quite upset as I couldn’t come to the gatherings, the outreach officer tried to smoothly integrate me into the work that the organisation does. She found plenty of opportunities for me when I felt so depressed and hopeless. The first opportunity that I was lucky to receive from We Belong is the opportunity to be featured in 10 Magazine.
I was so surprised at the kindness of We Belong as they did not know me a lot but still gave me that chance to be part of them.
So We Belong has given me the opportunity to continue some sort of normal and exciting life despite my immigration status, as I faced a lot of barriers and limitations but through the help and support of We Belong, I felt much stronger and capable to keep fighting and facing all the challenges that I have to go through.
Also, I was lucky to go through the emerging Young Leaders Programme. This was an amazing experience where I gained a lot of useful knowledge and I was able to start my own blog.
This is only the small part that I could include of what We Belong has helped me with because they did so much for me.
Starting from personal statement writing, to gaining a lot of useful skills such as communication skills, planning gatherings and gaining confidence. Overall, I want to finish by saying that We Belong has helped me during my worst period of life. I was dealing with a lot of mental health problems which led me to feel isolated and helpless but thanks to We Belong, all the team members who work there and other young people in a similar situation to mine, I felt so much better.
"We Belong has become my source of inspiration, support and spark to continue my life journey."
This is just one person's story, but over the past two years, we have been able to provide support to over 400 young migrants across the UK.
There are over 300,000 young people in the UK today living with insecure immigration status.
We Belong was established in London, but we are now expanding to Manchester. This year we hope to continue building our network of young migrants across the UK and advocate for a shorter, more affordable route to settlement.
There is so much more that we can do, and this is only the beginning.
We can only keep changing the lives of young migrants like Milana with your support.
Find out more about how you can support us with monthly or one-off donations by CLICKING HERE