Hi, my name is Reza and I come from a village in Afghanistan. I came to Malaysia on my own when I was 16 years old. It will be about two years that I have been in Malaysia. I had to leave my home for reasons I cannot say. It just wasn’t safe for me there. When I first came to Malaysia it was hard. I could not speak the language and I did not know anyone. I did not know how I was going to survive. I approached UNHCR offices to seek asylum but I was given a registration date two years later. When my visa expired I was stopped by the police and arrested many times. I was afraid of being put into immigration detention. My health wasn’t too good too and I knew there was something wrong but I could not afford to go to the hospital without any documents.
I first learned about SUKA Society from a community member. I met my SUKA caseworker in April 2015. I was hoping SUKA could help me some way and at the very least to get registration with UNHCR. Since I was taken into SUKA’s case management program, my situation changed a lot. I was assisted with finding more safe and suitable housing and all my immediate basic needs were looked into. Within a few months into the case management program, I got dengue and leptospirosis. I was very ill and felt so alone. SUKA ensured that I got treatment quickly even though I was undocumented and could not afford to pay for it. Without this intervention I don’t think I would be alive today. With the help of another NGO (the Malaysian Social Research Institute), I also got to learn English and Maths. Now I can speak good English.
The biggest difference Case Management has made has been with regards to my asylum claim. Within four months into SUKA’s case management program, I was referred to UNHCR and registered, and within a year I had already received my resettlement interview. I believe without intervention by SUKA I would be still waiting for registration scheduled in 2017. Instead, I will be leaving for the United States in one week and before my 18th birthday.
SUKA’s case management program created a family for other minors like me who are in Malaysia without any family, and although I will miss my new family here in Malaysia, I am excited to go to the US and finally start my life. I feel like I have been given a second chance. I am very interested in electrical work and when I go to the US I want to study hard and pick up this skill.
Note: Reza is now happily resettled in the US and is adapting well to his new school, environment and foster family.