An African woman's perspective on gaining asylum
The lengthy decision wait, a nuts driving episode
By Victoria Lillian
Having gone through a lengthy six hour interview, were I had to narrate and prove my asylum case to Bundesamt, it was now time to sit back, focus and ponder about the moves in life. This time around ones life just becomes almost stagnant, especially with the fact that asylum seekers are exempted from a lot of integration possibilities until a decision about their case is met. One neither study nor travel out of the designated boundaries. You are basically locked up in your asylum home territory, after all not many of us can afford U-bahn/S bahn tickets. Therefore the decision waiting time keeps every asylum seeker on their nerves, toes and sleepless. It's like a grooms long wait at the alter for his Bride to arrive and she never does.
My room mate had gone through a series of interviews. Four years down the road but still no decision made. The lady Esther from Sierra Leone, whose story got me tearing, was still waiting in vain for an answer. For a second, I forgot my own problems and offered this 32 year lady a listening ear. She had been convinced by some guys in her country that employment was readily available for her in a nearing district. Only to be taken locked up and forced into prostitution. It even got worse they were drugged on forced onto the a boat with bound for Italy. After months of hustling deadly waves of the sea, they arrived France were she was locked up in a brothel, till she found another man who lured her into a relationship and brought her to Germany only to be locked up in a village home for months without seeing the outside world. Till one day when she luckily escaped and into the hands of authorities. Although my case was as bad, her case did move me. In my heart I prayed to God so she could received a positive decision sooner than later. But for Esther her wish was that a decision should not be delivered soon enough especially if it was going to be a negative one, after all while still here, she would be able to do odd jobs to support her three kids back at home rather than being sent back.
For asylum seekers the waiting period is a time when a lot of us go through a series of mental dramatisation and depression, a time when some of us even get closer to our creator like never before. The one to 10 year wait explains the instable mental state, depression and aggression of many, and yet even after years of waiting many still get rejection to stay. But despite a lot of charity organisations offering activities to keep the asylum seekers active and useful, this has only proven fruitful for those engaged, some however chose to be enclosed in their own worlds dreaming of a better tomorrow or perhaps tormenting themselves mentally with memories of their experiences. Personally not only did I choose to be sportily active but also politically as a Human rights activist. It was the only way to my mental stability.
But no matter what one did during the day, there was always that we all dreaded most. A time when we would retire to bed was when all the memories flickered back bugging our minds with those inhuman life experiences.
Anyway just like everybody else, I embarked on a journey to prepare myself to live in the asylum home for years and perhaps even years of no decision being made. Whatever was going to happen I left it all to destiny. After all I presented my case point blank. My roommate and I took turns giving each other words of encouragement and support.
The shock of my life jetted in when Esther and I were getting to know each other well. A positive decision was reached for me in no less than a month. On hearing the news from my Lawyer a shock just pushed me on to my knees, it was all thanks giving to my creator. Immediately my tummy was crammed with butterflies. I called my journalist colleagues and enlightened them about the news. It was one of the quickest decisions Bundesamt had ever come up with. The door to my destiny had been opened. I never forgot my journalist colleague telling me at first when I was sent from Brandenburg to Munich that, being sent to Bavaria was like being sent back to Africa. Bavaria proved her wrong. Since then I have experienced a lot of opportunities, possibilities and even help and support from Bavaria than anywhere else. Munich is more than a home now. And to my roomy, even as she enters her fifth year of waiting, I keep my fingers crossed (ich drücke dir die Daumen) and hopefully a positive decision for her will reached sooner than later.