This interview was conducted in April 2017 just after the project acquired its first permanent home. To preserve the resident’s privacy no names have been used.
JB. So where do you want to start?
KS: I am not sure where to begin, because my problem is been going on for many years now. Having all the support from the donors and fundraisers and everyone involved in this project makes a massive difference.
JB: But you are happy to talk about the project, right? Maybe you could tell us a bit about the old house.
KS: Sure. Being in the house makes a lot of difference. The old house was like a home. I feel comfortable in the area and the neighbours are very friendly. It’s a very quiet neighbourhood. It is also sad to be leaving the place you call home and the lovely, friendly neighbours. I really miss the area. I sometimes go cycling in the area thinking that I will bump in with some of the neighbours and say hi. Moving to the new house also makes a lot of differences in the sense that this new house is smaller than the old house, and it is also easy to maintain. Hence it is less crowded and is making a lot of improvement in my life.
JB: And what about the new house?
KS: This new house is very clean and nice. It is ideal for two people which is very good. The neighbours also are very friendly as well, and the location is good too. Not far from town and next to the park. I always go there and play my guitar which is very nice.
JB: What has been annoying?
KS: Not being able to see my kids. It is really frustrating and also as a father not being able to spend time with them, as you know. What I’ve been through, what I’m going through up-to-date, that’s annoying! Secondly my phone also is annoying me. It is my only means of communication with friends and important people in my life. The phone is an old one. The phone always goes off even in the middle of conversation. But I think the most important thing is having a roof over your head which I am really grateful for the support of whoever is involved to support the project to make a difference in the society.
JB: So what you do with yourself?
KS: My day-to-day activities are cycling. I do that every day or I go visits friends. I live in the city for so many years. I might cycle somewhere quiet and play my guitar sometimes I even come to your house. I am in your house almost every day because you are like my brother and I feel very comfortable around you because of the love you show me, and I thank you, thank you, thank you and a massive thank you, I don’t even know when to stop.
JB: Which makes me want to ask, how do you keep going? How are you still fighting? You’re so extraordinarily positive.
KS: First of all, I will thank our creator for giving me life and health to be here today and giving me two beautiful boys. Secondly I have faith. It is a journey that we are going through, but this journey has many bumpy roads which we have to overcome because no condition is permanent. Because I practice my religion and try to follow it. It teaches me to be patient, humble, kind and be tolerant and disciplined. I am only going on because of these terms. And I also believe that sometimes things do really happen to you, but you are not in control of it and that’s life, but you always have to find a solution for it. That’s life no matter what condition we are in, we still have to make the best use of it. I think that’s what keeps me going and getting stronger every day, I guess.
JB: So, you’re fundamentally optimistic?
KS: Yes. The new house is nice and clean too! Sometimes I get stressed about my kids and I will see things that I want to buy for them but I can’t get them because of my situation, but the house changes everything. At least I have somewhere to stay for now. I have also have the support of you guys and VIE and other charity organisations and fundraisers, donors and volunteers and other supporting groups. You are all doing wonderful support here. You’re improving people’s lives and making a lot of differences in the society. I don’t even know how to thank these charity organisations and their fundraisers. Once again thank you everybody for your time and efforts and your kindness for making differences in our lives.
JB: How are things with your new housemate?
KS: Things are going fine. The only problem we are having is communication barrier, but I guess we’ll work on that. Secondly, he’s not always in so by the time he comes in it is late already, and he is always in his room, but sometimes I called him to come and watch TV with me.
JB: Has having a home improved your social life?
KS: Yes, it has improved my social life. For a start a massive improvement, but I still have a long way to go with the support of everybody. Being in the country 17 years not being able to work, not even entitled to public funds or claim for benefit because of my immigration status. What about my kids? I am like a state prisoner. You are living in our country, established and settled here, have your own family here, but you don’t belong here. That’s how I feel the system is treating me I don’t think that is really fair on my kids. Their so-called human rights is being hijacked by their own government.
JB: Is there anything else you want to say?
KS: just a massive thanks to everybody that supports this project. Men/women, young and old. Everything is being appreciated from the bottom of my heart. Once again thank you.