Mariatu’s story

by: Mariatu, a Sierra Leonean refugee in the UK

Mariatu lives with her three young children in London. Her three oldest children, now in their late teens, remained in her home country as she has become separated from them whilst seeking asylum. 

“I waited twelve years apart from my children. After some years of talking to various sources and with the help of an expert based in London I got in touch with them and we started talking on the phone. I was worried about their wellbeing, food, shelter and schooling. 

Getting the visa for them to join me wasn’t too hard but it wasn’t easy. I had a solicitor to help me with the process. A big sigh of relief came right through my body when they got the visas. I took a deep breath and thanked god. 

I can’t imagine now what I would have done or how difficult it would have been without the help I received with their travel. 

The first weeks together have been wonderful, amazing. I don’t have much to give them but we have each other and once more we are bonding together. In the future I want my children to be educated and work hard so we can contribute positively to this kind nation.” 

Mariatu’s children;

“We weren’t feeling good in any way when we were apart from our mum. Waiting for the visa was a very anxious time. We had sleepless nights and couldn’t eat much. It was the happiest moment when the flights were booked but the anxiety levels rose again. The journey was our first time in a flight which was very stressful and tiring. But we treated it like an adventure, determined to face any challenge as long as we could see our mum in person. 

Seeing our mum was like a dream come true. Everyone was laughing and crying at the same time as we hugged each other. The UK is a nice, friendly and tolerant place with diverse communities and opportunities to develop our lives. 

Our plan for the future is to develop ourselves and contribute to this nation. Our development is our way of saying thank you.”

How Miles4Migrants helps

We collaborate with a network of global non-governmental organization (NGO) partners who work directly with refugees and migrants to identify and verify individuals who are financially unable to afford air travel. Once our partners submit flight requests, we use donated frequent flyer miles, credit card points, travel vouchers, and cash to eliminate transportation barriers for the most vulnerable individuals affected by war, persecution, or climate disaster. Our goal is to help these individuals reunite with their loved ones and start a new life in a safe environment.

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– According to the United Nations, there are currently 108 million individuals forcibly displaced from their homes worldwide.  

– The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that seeking asylum is a fundamental human right. Everyone has the right to life and liberty. Everyone has the right to freedom from fear. Everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution.

As migration is often the last option for survival, migrants may embark on clandestine journeys, subject to danger, extortion, and inhumane conditions

Once they finally get legal approval for resettlement, migrants face another challenge that makes the journey seem impossible: the transportation costs.

There are many ways for you to get involved and help us continue our work:

You can donate cash to help us cover operational expenses or contribute your unused air miles, credit card points, or travel vouchers to help us book flights for refugees and asylum seekers. Additionally, you can help us spread the word about our cause and our impact on the lives of those we serve.

Every donation, no matter how big or small, has the power to make a difference. Thank you for considering supporting our mission.

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