From zero English to Computer Science graduate

I would like to thank REUK because I was in a situation in which I did not know where I was heading in my life. 

When I came to this country I was zero with English, and I mean zero. Zero with education. Because back in Afghanistan, I was not educated there at all because of the situation.

So when I came to this country, forget about English, that was too far. I couldn't even write my own name in my own language. So English was too far for me. The situation in my village was worse than other cities – over 70% of the village was under the control of the military. We were farmers and had a lot of cows, so we would make milk and sell them. So I used to take them around and let them feed on the green grass. I was 16 years old when I arrived in the UK. When I was in a college I was introduced to Catherine and Hannah at REUK and then later on I was introduced to a mentor who helped with my English and Maths and spoke to me about my plans for future study.

I finally managed to finish all my classes in college, and when I finished at college I got help from REUK to get a scholarship. I had to wait three years because of my situation which meant I couldn't get to University.

I am really happy because with REUK my hope was with education. Back home education was very difficult for me to do because once you are educated in your own language it can be easy to learn other languages and other systems but I was zero with everything, an empty memory. I had to start everything from zero here. Finally I got to uni and that makes me really really happy because I am the first person in my family to have graduated, probably the only person in my whole village because my village was a very small village. As much as I can remember there was no school there or nothing. It feels really amazing. 

A lot of credit goes to REUK – they helped me so much in my life. I didn't have anyone here, no relatives or no one, not much support from social services. Whenever I had a problem I would ask REUK for support and they would help me if they could. 

I hope more people support this organisation because they are really helping to change people's lives. They are the lights in young people's hearts. They help young people get back to hope, for those who have lost hope because of the situation in their country. They are critically important in helping young people who have lost their hope and their lives. They are giving so much motivation through the support they provide. I want to help this organisation get bigger and bigger so we can bring more light into people's hearts. 

Watch Tory tell his story at the launch of REUK's building project in early 2020.