I prefer Birmingham because number one, it is a more laid back city. It reminds me of where I was born in Zimbabwe. It feels like home. I think it was the best choice to come here. I am slowly getting into this society, I am almost there.

I was born in Zimbabwe. I moved to the UK in 2007 when I claimed asylum because of my country going through a struggle and the political system being turned upside down. I chose the UK because everything in our country, from the education system to things like road infrastructure, is almost exactly the same as in the UK. We were colonised by Britain and English is one of the languages we learn from a young age.

It is one of the most attractive countries that you can go to. You come here and democracy is really followed. You feel free and you are not intimidated because of your colour or whatever reasons. It does happen here and there, but in the UK it tends to be much better than other countries.

When I came in 2007 the Home Office posted me in Stoke on Trent. I prefer Birmingham because number one it is a more laid back city. It reminds me of where I was born in Zimbabwe, the way the buildings are structured. I?ve been to London. London is a bit too clustered and hectic and very expensive, so with Birmingham it feels like home. It reminds me of where I grew up.

I found Mercian Housing through a friend who recommended them. When I got there, they solved my problems. They explained everything and whatever you try to find out, you always talk to somebody, no automatic machine.

You start off at the bottom of not having accommodation then, if you get accommodation, your next step is trying to get a job. Kim at Mercian has helped me through so much stuff, it?s like having a sister who is out there, watching over me. She introduced me to the Advice and Guidance course that I am busy doing at the present moment. They were looking for support workers and I put my name down for that and within weeks they called me for an interview and I got a job. If I had not got a place from Mercian, I might have been struggling here.

I think Birmingham is a place where you would want to raise a family. And you come to Birmingham and there are so many places you can go, so much entertainment. I have met quite a few people from Zimbabwe and some are now friends. We have shared the common hurt about what is happening in our country. We also share how we can actually get on with our life here, how we can move from point A to point B within our struggles or within the job environment.

I think it?s fair to say I am a motivated person. I?m actually volunteering with ENTA. I have just started working at Friendship Care and Housing. I am doing 30 hours there and the staff have been amazing. I am slowly getting into this society. I am almost there. Yes, Birmingham is my home.

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