Life after: Homelessness – Positive News

His previous contains home violence, difficult relationships and homelessness, however Mitak Ahmed’s story is one among resilience and resourcefulness too

The one clear reminiscence Mitak Ahmed has of his early childhood in Bangladesh is the sight of his father hitting his mom. “I used to be about 5 years previous once I noticed the abuse taking place. Every little thing else is a blur,” says Ahmed, who’s now 23. 

Decided that her son ought to escape the violence, Ahmed’s mom organized for him to fly to London to reside together with his aunt when he turned six. “She couldn’t go to the police concerning the abuse, as a result of the police in Bangladesh have been corrupt, and girls’s rights have been ignored,” he explains. 

Ahmed struggled to regulate to life within the UK at first. “However I picked up English and made mates actually shortly,” he remembers. “Understanding that I wasn’t going to see my dad and mom any extra made me realise I wished to attain one thing. I keep in mind sitting on the doorstep once I was about eight and saying to myself: ‘In the future I’m going to achieve success.’”

Life together with his aunt, nevertheless, was not the protected haven that his mom had envisaged. “I didn’t have a number of steerage rising up and my aunt didn’t actually care about what was happening in my life,” Ahmed says. Throughout his teenage years, his relationship together with his aunt deteriorated and at 16, he was kicked out of the home. 

As soon as once more, Ahmed had been compelled to go away his residence, and this time he had nowhere to go. 

He sofa-surfed at mates’ homes, and even slept tough on the streets for 3 nights within the biting October chilly. “I didn’t have a sleeping bag – simply my jacket, a bag that I’d managed to pack just a few garments in earlier than I left my aunt’s, and about £10 or £20.” 


Ahmed discovered himself in London after fleeing home violence in Bangladesh. Picture: Anselm Ebulue

He might solely afford to eat as soon as a day. “However I had a lot anxiousness that I misplaced my urge for food, and I couldn’t sleep,” Ahmed remembers. “I don’t suppose I slept in any respect for a few nights, simply had a nap on the bus.” 

All this occurred at a “essential time” for Ahmed as he launched into his A-level programs. “I actually wished to deal with my research, however I couldn’t go to highschool correctly and make out like I used to be all good.” 

In school, he would typically sit and work in his head of yr’s workplace, moderately than attending classes together with his classmates. “I simply couldn’t be round folks; it was too overwhelming.” 

I went from feeling like a stranger to lastly feeling like I’m a part of one thing

After round three weeks, Ahmed was positioned with foster dad and mom. For the primary two days, he was too nervous to go away his room. However then he started to get to know his foster dad and mom and found they have been “really very pretty folks”.

“So, every little thing modified,” he says. “I went from feeling like a stranger in somebody’s residence to lastly feeling like I’m a part of one thing.” 

When brothers aged seven and eight joined the family, Ahmed did his greatest to make them really feel protected and welcome. “They usually seemed as much as me like an enormous brother,” he says. 


Ahmed now runs his personal digital advertising enterprise. Picture: Anselm Ebulue

Turning 18 introduced contemporary challenges as he moved into semi-independent housing. “I needed to learn to prepare dinner and take care of myself,” he remembers. “I felt trapped in a room with simply 4 partitions round me and my ideas.” 

Unable to afford a cell phone contract or an web connection, he felt remoted. However he discovered some solace in writing tales, poetry and – finally – a memoir. “Fortunately I had a laptop computer, so I wrote loads,” he says. 

And Ahmed additionally had Shiblu, a help employee from the charity for homeless younger folks, Centrepoint. Shiblu visited usually, serving to to construct belief between the 2, and gave Ahmed sensible assist. He additionally inspired him to self-publish his e book, which is known as Mitak’s Incomplete. “I used to be very misplaced on the time and Shiblu pulled me out of the darkish,” he says. “He made me perceive that it’s doable for me to attain issues.” 

I used to be very misplaced on the time and Shiblu pulled me out of the darkish

Shiblu launched Ahmed to the Prince’s Trust, which helped him begin his personal digital advertising enterprise aged 19. “The primary yr was scary and I made a number of errors, however I discovered from them,” he says. Ahmed now employs two different younger folks. 

Final yr, he was a part of a ‘peer analysis crew’ serving to Centrepoint’s coverage employees examine the issues that weak younger folks face with common credit score. The analysis highlighted the pressing want for devoted help for these younger adults, he says, moderately than the “one- size-fits-all system” presently in place. 

Ahmed felt grateful for the perception that his personal expertise of the advantages system had given him in with the ability to assist others. As he places it: “Every little thing that’s occurred, it simply is sensible to the place I’m at the moment.”

Essential picture: 

Life After: Tragedy, trauma and adversity: life’s challenges could be immense, however we are able to be taught from them too. Our Life After collection takes an in-depth have a look at how folks have tailored and grown from such challenges, and the way their expertise can encourage others.

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