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28 October 2014
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17 June 2004
From war-torn Kosovo
Elvira Kuka and children
Elvira Kuka with her two children

After her home was destroyed by war Elvira Kuka moved from Kosovo to Leicester to make a new life for herself and her children.

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POLITICAL FACTS

The only publicly available data on the asylum seeking population relates to those asylum seekers supported by the National Asylum Support Service [NASS].


Statistics show that at the end of March 2004, the number of asylum seekers in receipt of subsistence only support from NASS in Leicester was 430. At the same time 970 asylum seekers were being supported in NASS accommodation in Leicester. This suggests that the total number of NASS supported asylum seekers in Leicester is 1,400.

NASS figures from the end of January 2003 show that asylum seekers from 63 different countries of origin were being housed in NASS accommodation in Leicester.

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Where I came from
My life in Kosovo has been very dangererous for me. Before the war and since I remember it was very hard to live there. I was persecuted in Kosovo and everything destroyed. My home was destroyed as well. To protect our lives we left Kosovo. I got five years in England now.

Changing countries
Because I didn't know the country and the language... in foreign country it's a bit hard, but now I'm settled in here. [I lived] in Leicester four years and before that one year in Coventry.
And after that I moved here in Leicester.

Helping myself
I learned myself to speak English. I haven't been to school or anywhere. Go to library and take books and watch TV and .... just like that.

Refugee status
I got a hearing this Thursday (17 June 2004). And it's the third one that I'm having. And I've been told it's not the final one. So I have to come more after this. I don't know really why it takes so long. But what I have to do is just wait and hope.

They say I am not who I am. And I say, 'It's me'. I don't know what's going to happen, so....

I'm single mum, two children. And I haven't got support, anyone to support [me].

I found it easier when I came here, with home and [refugee] project, so I've been helped.

and on Leicester...
For me it's most beautiful place int he world, for me. I haven't been in any trouble or anything. Those people that I've been talking too, I just get help from them, so for me it's very good.

Listen to Elivira's interview in full.

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