Adowa*’s story

Adowa came to the UK from Ghana a few years ago to join her husband. Things did now work out, and they divorced. He returned to Ghana, and Adowa had to struggle to survive on her own. At her church, Adowa met a woman who asked her to clean her house. Then she said Adowa could stay there in a small room. 

Later on, Adowa became pregnant, but her partner left her at this point.

“It was not easy at all.”

One day she met a lady who spoke her language. Adowa told her about her situation, and the lady said she could come and stay with her. “She would buy food and I would cook Ghanaian dishes, and we would chat, chat, chat. She would tell me, ‘Be patient, everything is okay, don’t worry.’”

People from Adowa’s church helped her to apply for ‘leave to remain’. After some time, she was granted this, but with no recourse to public funds. This meant Adowa could work but she couldn’t afford to pay for childcare.

Adowa was working early in the mornings as a school cleaner, and the lady they were living with would look after her son. But when the lady moved house, they had nowhere to live and Adowa had no-one to look after her son, so she couldn’t work anymore.

A member of Adowa’s church told her about Haringey Migrant Support Centre (HMSC). She met with the Welfare Advisor, who helped her to get the ‘No Recourse’ condition lifted by referring her to another organisation. They sent the forms to the Home Office, and a few weeks ago Adowa was given access to public funds.

“It’s better now. It has helped me a lot. My son is two and now he can start nursery. Before, when I had no recourse, I would have had to pay – I couldn’t afford that. So now I can find work.

The job the migrant centre are doing is very great. The job the Welfare Advisor did is very great and she helped a lot of people! That time before the Welfare Advisor helped me, I was so sad. I was sitting on the bus crying. I didn’t know what to do. At the migrant centre, I was crying – I couldn’t get my words out. She said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll help you.’”

(*Not real name)

This case study was written by HMSC’s volunteer Rachel, who has been meeting with current and former visitors to give everyone a better sense of what visitors go through.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *