Freweyni has been fostering with the council for over five years, after seeing stories of young refugees echoed her own past fleeing war.
Since 2018 she has cared for four young people aged from 11 to 17, with one young person who came to her at 15 staying until he was 21. Currently, Freweyni and her family are fostering a 17 year old unaccompanied young person.
Here, Freweyni shares her experience.
Parentless and vulnerable
"During the refugee crisis of 2015, our hearts went out to the thousands of people displaced from their homes.
"Seeing news reports of the masses of people that lost their lives trying to find a safe country to live in made me think of the hundreds of children that would be left parentless and vulnerable.
"As someone who left their own country at a young age because of war, I can understand how difficult it would be for a young person to try a build a life without the familiar support of a family, a home, or even an understanding of the spoken language.
"I felt that if I could even just help one person, it would be worth opening my home."
Feeling seen and accepted
"Fostering unaccompanied asylum-seeking children is extremely rewarding. Learning about the cultures of these young people helps them feel seen and accepted, whilst also widening your world view.
"Despite the language barrier, this challenging experience is one that is worth the commitment.
"Working as a foster carer makes me extremely proud. Seeing the kids blossom and come out of their shell, finding themselves and building a life, excites me just as it does with my own children.
"They truly can become a part of your family, and helping them achieve makes it feel like you’re achieving right along with them.
"The moments themselves have a rollercoaster of emotions, just as life does, with a lot of ups and downs; but when these kids leave the house and you know you’ve provided them with a safe environment, where they’ve had better opportunities than they otherwise could have had, that feeling of pride is all that remains."
A small, friendly community for foster carers
"I would definitely recommend fostering, and urge anyone that is considering it to take the next step. Wokingham Borough Council has a small, friendly community, that are always in contact with each other.
"There is lots of support available, with ongoing training and one to one meetings and sessions. They always make sure that both the young person and the fostering family are comfortable and confident with what they are doing."
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