Latoya's Journey

Posted by Carol Owen UK poverty Communications Officer

2nd Jul 2013

Latoya at Radio Cardiff

My name is Latoya. I come from Barbados. I'm 28 and a participant in Oxfam Cymru's Sanctuary in Wales project  based in Oasis, Cardiff for women refugees and asylum seekers.  I am a single mother of two, one whom has a disability.  My claim for asylum has been refused and I am awaiting my final appeal.


When I came to Cardiff I had no family, friends or community support  and really struggled to cope .  I slipped into depression and  each day seemed hopeless to me.

Then I came across Oasis.  I  took a course in teaching English  funded  by Oxfam with Swansea University. Then  Helen Gubb ,a support worker with Sanctuary in Wales asked me to run a women's only singing  group.                            

I was delighted  because I am a singer/ songwriter and love music. I taught the ladies couple of songs, mainly rounds that I learnt at a singing class I attended.

I then took part in an art workshop at Oasis where I made a collage of my life's journey. Soon I was enrolled into a Music and Media course run by Cardiff and Vale College linked with Ministry of Life. In this course we have to plan, organise and perform at a festival  called Capital City Jam in Sophia Gardens on August 3.

 I was also accepted to do a 20-day work experience course with Radio Cardiff arranged by Sanctuary in Wales, and Business in the Community. As the weeks went on I grew more confident and my self-esteem was given a great boost. I learnt various things like recording and editing my own radio shows, the different levelling of music and voice volumes, cues and timing.                                              

 I then moved on to doing live radio shows. The experience I had with Radio Cardiff really boosted my self esteem.  I feel like I'm moving forward in life. You can find out more about Capital City Jam here.

STOP PRESS: Since writing this, Latoya has learned she has been granted leave to remain in the UK for several years.

Sanctuary in Wales is funded by the Big Lottery Fund Wales.

Blog post written by Carol Owen

UK poverty Communications Officer

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