Opinion

I am Eunice. I am Zimbabwean. I am a Refugee. I am a migrant.

I was a young girl with huge dreams. I never thought I would leave my lovely country for anything. I fled Zimbabwe 10 years ago following death threats from Mugabe’s ruling party. I left at the age of 19 and arrived here in the UK in 2006.

I didn’t know anyone, I had no friends or relatives but felt safe upon arrival. I live in Wales with my husband two lovely children. Although, I’ve had both the best and worst experiences of my life whilst living here in Wales. In many ways, I see Wales as my second home. I have lived here for 10 years and my family has embraced Welsh culture. I feel that I have integrated well in my community. However, I feel disheartened whenever I read negative stories about migrants. The media and some politicians only focus on the problems migration brings. There is this single story about migrants being economically inactive – putting downward pressures on public services. For this reason, I decided to pursue this course of advocating the good of migrants and to celebrate migrants.

But this is not the true story. I see migrants as diverse and creative people, entrepreneurial, innovative, economic contributors, committed employees, hard workers, and friendly people. This is how I have chosen to define the word “ migrant”.

Why I am involved with #1DaywithoutUs.
After the referendum vote, I was approached by a neighbour and was told that all migrants should be thinking of going back home now the country has voted to leave the EU. Indirectly, I felt he was referring to me to go back to Africa since I am a migrant. Having faced all kinds of racism and anti-social behaviour from neighbours. I decided to stand up for myself and speak out for other migrants using this occasion, supporting One Day Without Us on the 20th Feb.
I pay my tax, work hard and contribute to the economy like thousands of other migrants. I want to share the true story about migrants which we do not see on the news and tabloids. I have set up a Migrant Intercultural Festival in Wales called Settled In – to celebrate migrant contributions.

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