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I am a refugee who lives in Calderdale, a town that I feel I belong to. I find myself in Calderdale as I finally feel I am settled and being surrounded by lovely people who like to support me whenever I face any issue.

A year ago, I took the decision of giving back to the community and volunteer in the asylum and refugee sector but I was introduced to the new terminology of Expert by Experience. It took me a long to build my own understanding of such terminology as “Expert by Experience” and I was questioning if my experience of being an asylum seeker would be given me the title of being an expert in this field. I haven’t got through the whole experience of the asylum process as I was granted refugee a few months after my interview. So, I had no idea what the rest of the asylum processes are; yet I was being identified as an expert of having asylum experience.

I still find it difficult to cope with the title given to me as an expert by experience and labeling me as someone with lived experience in the sector of asylum and refugee. I believe I am aware of my experience but I sometimes want to deny it as I want to forget all the traumas associated with my experience.

Having written that, I don’t mind participating and contributing to any work related to asylum and refugee as I know I have many ideas to offer in order to help organizations/individuals to better understand asylum seekers and refugees.

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