Pregnant and vulnerable, Christiane really needed a friend when she fled Cameroon two years ago. As we celebrate Refugee Week, here is her story.
I was already five-months pregnant when I had to leave Cameroon suddenly, and it was a very difficult time – I hardly spoke a word of English.
A friend told me about the Red Cross refugee service, and they immediately helped with my language problems and all the things I needed. They gave me food vouchers, clothes for my baby – even a pushchair.
I think they took extra special care of me because I was pregnant – my main contact at the refugee centre was like a father to me. And when I was feeling low and missing home, they told me: ‘We are your family now.’
The Red Cross was also a good link with the authorities and the charity was a big help with my claim application.
I got leave to remain after seven months, and now I’m a volunteer befriender. My role is to welcome people to the refugee centre and, by sharing my own experience, make them feel more comfortable.