Badasso: “It’s hard to nurse a baby in a refugee camp”

Badasso comes from Etiopia, but spent many years in a refugee camp in Kenya.

“I’m Ethiopian. In 2003 I escaped from my country because of the political situation. I ended up in Kenya, in a refugee camp, where two years later I was joined by my wife, who had been targeted back home and continually arrested because she was my wife. Our son was born in 2008: it was really hard bringing up a newborn child in a refugee camp. There wasn’t enough food or water, there weren’t the health facilities, you never felt safe, every night there was someone who died and often people broke into the camp and attacked us.”.

In 2011 a chance to change: thanks to the “Gateway Protection Programme”, a re-collocation and welcome programme that involves 750 refugees every year, he and his family were able to move to the UK and re-start their lives from there.

“We began a new lease of life in Great Britain. When we got here I felt we were in the right place in terms of equality and human rights. I don’t have to worry about food for me and the family any more and we have easy access to health care. In a refugee camp you are suspended, there are no opportunities for bettering your education but here I started learning English at elementary level and I’m now at university. Life really is different now.

Badasso, who decided to share his story through the British Refugee Council, now lives in Sheffield in England where he is studying for a degree in Sciences of Development and International Cooperation.