Brian has been a model pupil since he started at St Patrick's four years ago. His Head teacher described him as unique in his attitude to learning and respect for his teachers and his fellow pupils. Every year his classmates have voted for him to serve on the school council. His name appears frequently in the Head teacher's Gold Book award - most other children are lucky to make an annual entry.
Brian's mother Selina has also been a model example. Despite being treated for clinical depression she enrolled on an access to nursing course after following advice from her GP-referred counsellor and received a distinction. She has just started a one-year GCSE math's course that she hopes will qualify her to apply for nursing training. She also encouraged other mothers at the children's primary school to go back to education to acquire some skills.
Selina left Ghana in a hurry four years ago when tribesmen from her village tracked her down to the Ghanaian capital Accra. She had fled to Accra from her village to avoid a forced marriage to a polygamous much older man of a different religion. Despite coming from a Catholic family, she was promised to a Muslim chieftain who already had two wives. Family honour meant she had no choice but to wed or flee. When she was found several years later and despite being in a relationship and with a young child, she was still asked to comply with the forced marriage or her mother would be killed. This is when she came to the UK with her young child leaving her partner to go into hiding. Her sister committed suicide in Ghana last year after no longer being able to cope with her life there. Selina has no other relatives alive in Ghana.
If Selina is returned to Ghana she will have no choice but to return to her village and the forced marriage. Her daughter Chelsea will be at risk of female genital mutilation that is widely practiced in northern Ghana. The Home Office thinks she will be safe in another part of Ghana but how will she support herself. She cannot get a job as she didn't finish her training and there is no child care for a three year old. Ghana is a patriarchal society where women cannot even get married without family consent. A woman's children are the property of her husband even if he isn't their father.
Although Selina has built a new life for herself during the last four years, Selina doesn't have a voice in this country - but you do. Please use your voice urgently to support the efforts of Selina and her children to stay in the UK. They deserve to have a life worth living.
What you can do to help:
1) Fax/Phone/Email, Willie Walsh, BA Chief Executive Officer, using the model letter 'BrianChelseaBA.doc' attached, which you can copy/amend/write your own (please ensure inclusion of the details - Brian, Chelsea and Selina due to be forcibly removed from the UK on Friday 3rd October on British Airways flight BA81 @ 14:15hrs from terminal 5 Heathrow to Accra, Ghana.
Fax: 020 8759 4314
Tel: 084 4493 0787
2) Please send urgent faxes/emails immediately to Rt. Hon. Liam Byrne, Minister for Immigration, asking that Brian, Chelsea and Selina be granted protection in the UK. Please use the attached "model letter" (BrianChelseaLB.doc) which you can copy/amend/write your own version, if you do so, please remember to include their HO ref: A1290971.
Fax: 020 8760 3132(00 44 20 8760 3132 if you are faxing from outside UK)
3) Sign the Online petition
Please let the campaign know of faxes/emails sent:
Friends of Brian, Chelsea and Selina
C/o St Saviour's Cottage
St Saviour's Gardens
0115 956 7686
End of Bulletin:
Source for this Message:
Friends of Brian, Chelsea and Selina