“The last time I saw my mum, I was only 18 years old and now I am a fully grown man!”

by Musa

At age 18 Musa left Senegal to embark on a journey to the UK that would prove to be difficult, often scary and with many obstacles along the way. Now aged 24 he is living in his own house in the North East, has a girlfriend and a steady job. was first referred to Action Foundation by the North of England Refugee Service, as he had only 2 weeks to find alternative accommodation or he would be homeless. We were able to sort out a room in one of our houses just in time to avoid him being on the streets.  At first, he was not very good at keeping appointments or understanding the importance of attending meetings. This led to him having his payments stopped for 4 months, a reliance on foodbanks and with only £10 a week to live on he was unable to pay his bills. His support worker helped him through this time and encouraged him to apply for a job at MTrec.

I learnt a good lesson to always carry my papers and to be ready” Musa said.

He started work for a car manufacturer and with a steady income coming in, was able to also follow his passion for sport; football.  He achieved his Level I in coaching football and his NVQ Level 2 and continues to regularly play football as part of the Sunday League in Wallsend.  When the time is right, he wants to continue his studies and achieve Level 3 in coaching, required to work in a Leisure Centre.

He was only 21 when he left Action Foundation on 10th November 2015, having successfully applied for a council house with the help of his support worker.  He has since gone on to work in a biscuit factory in Gateshead, with a good income, working conditions and nice work colleagues.
It was through college, while studying for his foundation level GCSEs in English and Maths, that he met his girlfriend and it wasn’t long before he met her family too!
Being able to put away some money each month, he hopes to visit his family in Senegal next summer. “The last time I saw my mum, I was only 18 years old and now I am a fully-grown man!”. 

They talk on the phone nearly every week but cannot wait to see each other again. He also has a very large family in Senegal, so there will lots of catching up for him to do!

Action Foundation have been excellent, they have been very good with me and they changed my life” Musa said.