Speaking for Ourselves


I Am

Migrant Voice

I Am I Am

Nas was only 14 when he arrived in the UK from his native Afghanistan, after a journey through Iran, Turkey and across Europe, in 2010. At first, he was refused asylum but was instead granted a temporary leave to stay until he turned 18.

When he turned 18, he applied again, but his application continued to get rejected.

"I think the system is designed like that," he says, "they refuse applications, they make people tired – and some people give up, some go underground. But I knew my rights and I knew I was telling the truth, so I kept trying."

After another refusal, Nas looked for help online and came across Migrant Voice. The charity’s Birmingham Network worker, Salman Mirza suggested that Nas start a public campaign and supported, trained and mentored him.

"I said yes, and this is how we started, in 2018. I spoke with journalists, I told my story in schools and universities, I started a petition," he says.

Within a short period, Nas appeared on ITV, took part in a BBC documentary, and was interviewed by other news outlets. He also worked hard to make his voice heard, sharing his story and his petition with as many people as he could with the support of Migrant Voice.

"I asked people to sign my petition on buses, in shops, even outside of toilets," he jokes.

Nas says his campaign was so successful because Migrant Voice helped him to meet people who took an interest in his story. 

“If I hadn’t started the campaign, people wouldn’t have known my story, my application would have been refused, and they would have sent me back,” explains Nas.

He also learnt new skills.

"Now I know how to campaign; I know how to spot a good story," he says.

Nas is now a Migrant Voice ambassador, holding sessions where he teaches others how to pitch stories to journalists and talk to the media. 

What advice does he have for those in similar situations?

"Keep going, don’t give up," he says. "Fight for your rights. Do good things. And don’t be afraid to ask for help."

Get in touch

Migrant Voice
VAI, 200a Pentonville Road,
N1 9JP

Phone: +44 (0) 207 832 5824
Email: [email protected]

Registered Charity
Number: 1142963 (England and Wales); SC050970 (Scotland)

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