Matthew Perry, a 37-yr-old father of two, has welcomed a child refugee into his family home, after his wife Natalie spotted an appeal for rooms for migrants in Manchester.
Asad Abdullah, 14, is a newly-arrived refugee from war-torn Somalia. He fled his home-country when warring factions threatened to enlist him in their militias.
Natalie, a social worker of 15 years experience, explained:
“When I saw Asad, I couldn’t stop thinking about him. What he had been through. I told Matthew that we need to help him. He was resistant to the idea at first, but now he’s starting to see the cultural benefits our young children are reaping by being exposed to Asad.”
With the aid of an interpreter, Asad explains that he made his way across Europe, often subject to hostility from truck drivers and officials, before arriving at the port of Calais and the infamous ‘Jungle’.
Once safely immersed amongst the vibrant migrant community at Calais, Asad attempted to board lorries destined for the port of Dover, in the UK. Using roadblocks such as flaming tyres, Asad was eventually able to get onto a lorry and into the UK, finally arriving in Manchester, where charitable groups helped find him shelter.
As for Matthew, a social media manager for the Guardian Group, he has committed to setting up a University fund for Asad:
”Asad has made it clear that he wants to be a surgeon or a barrister, so we will start putting money away to make sure he can access the best universities possible. We feel that Asad should have the same opportunities that our children will receive.”
Julia Glover, organiser of Homes for Migrants, advises volunteers on the best ways to help refugees adapt to being a new member of the family. Firstly, most refugees cannot eat pork products due to religious beliefs, meaning that families will have to abandon traditional favourites like bacon, ham and sausage. Alcohol is also prohibited.
The Perry’s insist that these small changes to their lifestyle are a small price to pay for the cultural enrichment that Asad has brought to their ‘hideously White’ home and community.