USUALLY, I choose to be optimistic about life in general, with all my past and present life experiences, I always find a way to continue through hope and perseverance.

As a mother, my priority is my child. I have a responsibility; therefore, I do whatever it takes to be present mentally and physically to protect my wellbeing and the wellbeing of my child. I was born in a world that I don’t always understand, a world that benefits some and subjugates others.

My experience during lockdown hasn’t been easy, just like for many people around the world. In general, life is difficult for some people regardless of their background. But, thinking of the struggle that many refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow are facing has truly affected me.

For those who can, particularly in government and positions of power, I hope there will be some moral responsibility to promote fairness for refugees and asylum seekers. Politicians have the power to implement policies to protect the dignity of asylum seekers and refugees. I am overwhelmed by the situation but despite this, I am determined to raise my voice and campaign for change.

It is important to continue to raise awareness for refugees because they are part of our shared society. What many people tend to ignore is that many refugees are skilled people who contribute so much in this country, yet many are undervalued, dehumanised and humiliated. It takes courage to leave everything behind for a better life. It takes intelligence to adapt to an unknown culture, let alone learning and speaking a new language.

Refugees are from different places in the world. It is important to avoid assuming that they should have the same background or the same ability to adapt to a British way of life. Many are doing their best to survive. They are faced with many barriers such as employment, discrimination and other forms of prejudice, which can affect their mental health and wellbeing, often already affected by previous traumas.

Being in politics was never something I thought I will be involved in. The culture of politicians in this country was something that I just saw on TV – I didn’t always understand what was going on, with my limited English back then. After spending time at college, university and volunteering, my knowledge expanded, and I begin to understand more about the world around me. Then, opportunity came along to stand as a Holyrood candidate for the Scottish Greens and now I’m ready to use the platform that I have. It is scary, but I want to stand against injustice and oppression.

As a person who has made this country my second home, I have the responsibility to contribute and use my voice and knowledge to bring awareness. I want to be part of the incredible work the Scottish Green Party is doing to promote inclusiveness in politics and that’s what has made me push my fear away and step forward and work to build a better society. My hope in politics is to see more inclusiveness in all parties.