Mother and baby face eviction

Chawada Matiwala,  mother, asylum seeker, and  whistleblower on conditions in a Stockton mother and baby hostel, faces eviction tomorrow 23 January.

Cha has been a brave voice on behalf of refugee women in the UK. In December 2012 she  gave damning evidence about the hostel where she is living to a panel of MPs convened by the Children’s Society and Sarah Teather. She spoke to the Guardian’s journalist Zoe Williams for a powerful article, and she has shared her experiences  on a blog on this website. “This New Year,” she wrote poignantly, “I am trying to be optimistic and hope for good things.”

Chawada has worked in housing and has a first class UK social science degree, but claimed asylum because she was unable to return safely to her home country, Zimbabwe. Supporters fear that her pending eviction by the UK Border Agency may be related to her bravery in speaking out about conditions for refugees in the hostel where she lives, which is run by a private contractor for the UK Border Agency.

If you would like to support this brave mother and her baby, please write to her MP, James Wharton, on james.wharton.mp@parliament.uk, explaining that a mother and baby who are seeking protection should not be made homeless, and sign this petition to the UK Border Agency.

Blog post  by Women for Refugee Women with assistance from John Grayson. At 5.30pm on 22 January we heard that the UK Border Agency was no longer planning to evict Cha from the hostel. We thank all those who spoke out in her support.

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