Lambeth College - Winners of the immigration story competition

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Winners of immigration story competition. 'We are all immigrants' story writing competition was won by Elihaida from Albania and runner up was Yonas from Eritrea. Today they were awarded their certificates and prizes by Principal Monica Box.

Elihaida is studying Level 1 English in ESOL. She tells her story of setting off to get married but instead finding herself held captive by her fiance. Having escaped she went back to her family who disowned her. Her community did not support unmarried women. Elihaida had no option but to leave Albania and chose to immigrate to the UK. When arriving in the UK, Elihaida discovered that she was pregnant with twins, by her capture. Elihaida is in her first year of learning English in ESOL. She wants a better life for herself and her three years olds - so this story is to celebrate her babies' future.

Yonas is studying Level 3 English in ESOL. His story is one of determination in the face of extreme adversity. He was forced into the national service in Eritrea, a small country between Sudan and Ethiopia, and was imprisoned three times where he was tortured. His best friend was beheaded in Libya. He managed to cross the Sahara desert, without food, and find a way to the UK. The penalty in being caught was to be shot dead where you stood. Yonas is pleased that he fought his way through very difficult times as now he has a good life ahead of him - and he is free to start a better life.

Lambeth College Principal, Monica Box says, ' Elihaida's and Yonas' stories are sad that people have experienced such conditions but are also enlightening and inspiring. We should be proud that people, who have experienced such challenging situations, want to share their stories with us.'

Civilisation has been across borders and oceans since in search of a better life for centuries. There is nothing to ashamed about. Immigration brings rich culture to London, which has one of the most diverse communities in the world.

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