Women facing the UK asylum system do it on their own. Home Office policy deliberately suppresses and isolates those seeking asylum, keeping them out of sight, out of mind. The Testimony Project seeks to tell their stories.
Farhat grew up in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, a conservative part of the country where the majority of the population are Pashtun. Out of step with mainstream society, her mother insisted that local custom should be defied and Farhat should be university educated.
Naomi was born in Nigeria. Her father had a leading role in an anti-government human rights organisation and, because of his activities, was imprisoned four times, threatened with death and placed under house arrest. Naomi fled to the UK in 1998.
Bella was born in Uganda in 1986. Her father was heavily involved in opposition politics. One evening, when she was 15 years old, government officials knocked at the door of the house seeking her father’s photographs and documents.
Naima is from Bangladesh where she lived with her husband and son. Her husband was an activist in the Freedom Party, a Bangladeshi opposition party. Naima worked in a women’s organisation educating rural women about their rights.
Marjorie now has her papers, but her story is just beginning. When she left Uganda in 2002 she left behind a daughter, Sweetny, now 11. Marjorie’s story is the story of a mother and a daughter separated, a family divided...