This is Nas & Samantha (& Me, Jasminder - On the Left)
They are my definitions of strength, resilience and love. What would I do without them? I genuinely I don't think you would be reading this without their presence in my life.
It's interesting to think that our friendships all began the same way... me listening to their testimonies. On two very different occasions, on two different 'stages' telling the audience their heart wrenching journeys. Both of their testimonies struck me. Both made me go 'Raah.'
At aged 13 he had just arrived alone in the UK after fleeing Afghanistan. The Taliban had murdered his dad, sister and younger brother. With his mother and older brother still missing, despite the Red Cross searching for them. Over 10 years, he was wrongly refused asylum six times. The home office drilled fear into Nas, scared of being deported to Afghanistan. It took us over 10,000 signatures for the home office to finally listen to us. In February 2019 Nas was told he could stay in the UK. He's now 24 and training to be a support worker, but one day hopes to become fire fighter.
At aged 16 Samantha met an older woman who groomed her and set her off on a downward spiral. Through being exploited by her and a man, who eventually was imprisoned, she survived drug abuse, human trafficking and satanic ritual abuse.
As the founder of Diamond You Projects, a charity that supports other people who have been through these horrific experiences. Samantha has raised tens of thousands of pounds for Amnesty and other charities, using her experiences to inspire a nation!
Nas & Samantha continue to inspire me daily. Amongst the millions of other young people who are going through similar battles.
RAAH. is built on these foundations of resilience and hope. Regardless of what you've been through, there are always millions ready to support and join your journey - you just have to find them!