African women perspective on gaining asylum: the wearisome daily life's of asylum seekers

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Sun 15th Dec, 2013

Have you ever contemplated what an asylum seekers day looks like, with devoid to work and study approval? I was curious to know what went on, on a daily basis in other asylum homes in comparison to my home. So to put this article together, I decided to visit an all men's asylum home in Augsburg. The home is locked out in an industrial area of Augsburg near a junction of heavy electric lines. My heart raced heavily as I ascended the stairs to the fourth floor. Spending nights in an all men's asylum home, in a room with three other men takes a lot more courage than just wanting to put up a good article. Remember these are people who are mentally distressed because of their asylum cases. But I had all the courage after all I was one of them.

The evening was quiet, until about 6:00pm when guys started jetting back from their whereabouts. A few minutes later one guy walks into the room with a crate of Beer. I went for a quick shower and on getting back; I found the room covered with smoke and blaring music. About five guys were sited all over in the room not only drinking Beer but the hard liquors too, and not only smoking ordinary cigarettes but marijuana too. Smoke throttled me as I entered the room, I took a deep breath and stayed put. One of them offered me a joint to smoke which I declined. There was no way I was going to let myself get drunk being the only female in a room full of stressed men. This drinking and smoking spree went on nearly for the entire night. In the neighbouring rooms was the same thing. Music was blaring from every corner of the home. Seeing someone carry a bottle of beer through out the day was a common scene.

During week days everyone dashes down to the House masters office to pickup letters, and if none, then the usual daily life continues with drinking, smoking and endless meals, cursing life and maybe sleeping endlessly if one could sleep. There was this particular mid aged Arabic guy of about 43 who's cooking and eating times were only in the wee hours of the morning from 2:00 am to 4:00am at least it was not Ramadan season. Later my host told it was his way of life. He spent the day drinking, hoping from room to room to find someone to talk too. First I had reservations asking questions. But one could tell that despite being vulnerable and in pain they were still willing to speak. So I asked one of my hosts roommates of Nigerian origin why they were living their lives on marijuana and alcohol. "What do you want us to do my sister, what can you do in this country?, we are not allowed to work, we live far from the city, you cant ride to the city just anyhow because you need a train ticket, we cant attend full time language course because of the distance of our home from the city. So all we can do is drink and forget about our problems". I wondered were they got the money to buy these ever flowing drinks. Like reading my mind he says. "The little government support we get is what we use to buy these drinks. We have no way out here". Minutes later another guy walks in the room cursing his life but with a bottle of gin in his hands.
By and large life in the asylum homes is not any different. Frustration, has led to many being alcoholics or even drug abusers. We are enclosed in our rooms and behind those asylum walls doing nothing but eating our way to ill health, drinking and bothering any one who cares to listen to our experiences.

Another asylum seeker an asylum home near the German-Austrian boarder narrated his daily life in the home there. Unluckily for them, there is not even a bus connection from their home which is about 7km from the nearest town. Once you are dropped there by the authorities then real hard life starts. One has completely no contact to the outside folks but rather fellow asylum seekers. Neither does one have a chance to any voluntary activities nor attend free Caritas sponsored German language courses because of the distance of the home. "That place is like prison I tell you".
Many have lost hope, mainly because it's difficult to see results of your case in a short period of time. Seeking asylum is one thing that comes with a price too. I have met some mean people who will tell you that being in Germany in an asylum home is a lot better than being in a war torn country. They might be right, but what is the distinction between your life being under threat from war and mental distress? The only distinction is that the former may bring you to an early grave faster than the latter. All in all, everyday spent as an asylum seeker is wearisome.

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