50 Years, 50 Faces: Humera Ali
“My name is Humera Ali. I am the Refugee and Migrant Project Support Case Worker at the Renewal Programme supporting refugee and migrants who have become destitute or are at risk of destitution due to their immigration status.
I was born in Pakistan but have spent majority of my life here in the UK. I live in London Borough of Redbridge but have links with Newham as I grew up here, went to the local girls school and worked for a domestic violence organisation for nine years. I love cooking, socialising and going for long walks in parks.
I stumbled across the charity as I was looking for voluntary work; I was then working as a freelance interpreter and felt that I wanted to offer my skills to a charity organisation working with vulnerable communities, because as an interpreter you are very limited in this field, you are simply a mouth piece and cannot give any form of advice.
I came across the the Renewal Programme, originally through the Carers Health Empowerment Project, in 2016 through a friend who was working at the organisation. I applied for a volunteering role but at the same time I saw a job vacancy for an Outreach Support Worker. It was only a 12 month contract, but I applied for the job and was lucky enough to get it. I gave up my full time work as an interpreter to serve the local community. After my contract came to an end with the Carers Project, I was fortunate to get another job at the Renewal Programme as a Refugee and Migrant Support Service Worker.
I feel that every individual should be treated with respect and dignity; they should be made to feel empowered so that they can have the wings to fly and be free from any kind of dependency. We at the Renewal Programme ensure that every individual is treated in the same way.
I feel most connected to the Refugee and Migrant Project as the people I support are the most vulnerable communities I have ever worked with; these groups of people face exploitation, homelessness, and abuse. Being able to provide resources, advice, information, sign posting and making referrals to partner organisation is something I love doing, most importantly just being there for someone when they are at their most lowest.
I simply love my job and all my colleagues stand out the most equally as they each bring new skills and vibrancy to the organisation.
The Renewal Programme is like a pillar of hope for so many.”