Give London news and stories

Giving hope to the exiled- the story of Baobab

“Imagine seeing the unimaginable and being 14 years old”

Imagine youĘĽve been raped or tortured. Forced to kill someone or watch your parents murdered. You flee your country for a place of safety. But people call you a liar and want to send you back. Now imagine all this happens when youĘĽre just 14 years old.

A handwritten sign stuck to the door says please be quiet, there is a session in progress. Through the door you can hear a murmuring adult voice. It sounds gentle and reassuring. There is a pause and then a younger, less certain voice speaks. Another pause and the conversation continues.

This side of the door, in the room doubling up as reception area and lounge, a young man is doing some research on a computer. Another teenager, impeccably polite, is asking whether anyone would like a cup of tea.

The air of calm is interrupted when a new arrival announces that he’s just passed his driving test. People emerge from different rooms to congratulate him. Their pride in his achievement is clear, the smiles infectious.

If it wasn’t for the murmured conversation still going on behind that door, you could mistake these rooms just off North London’s busy Holloway Road for a friendly student flat-share – albeit a very tidy one.

But this is the Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile, a charity that helps children who have fled violence in their home countries, in the hope of finding sanctuary here in Britain.

They include Mimi from Eritrea, who escaped to England aged 12 when her father disappeared and her sister was killed. And Fakirzai, smuggled out of Afghanistan when the Taliban murdered his father. And Moses, who was forced to join the same group of rebels who had just brutalised his sister, before he managed to run away.

Wherever their terrifying journeys began, whatever horrors they endured along the way, they all made it to Baobab’s door.

Click here to read the full story >

More news and stories

Geoff first came into contact with the Drop in Bereavement Centre in 2013 after losing two immediate family members to lung cancer within one month. Click here to read his experience of dealing with personal loss.

Baobab received their first Give London grant in early August. Click here to find out the impact of the funding.

In early August, Mazi Mas was awarded their first Give London grant. Click here to learn more.

Belong was awarded their first Give London grant in early August. Find out what the funding has gone towards here.

The Drop in Bereavement Centre were awarded their first Give London grant in early August. Click here to find out the impact this grant has made.

North London Cares and South London Cares were awarded their first Give London grants in early August. Click here to read about the impact these grants have made.

London Football Journeys was awarded their first grant in early August. Click here to find out what this funding has gone towards.

The London Community Foundation and Give London’s founding donor, residential-led developer Mount Anvil, are delighted to announce that the first grants of the initiative have been awarded. 

We are thrilled to have Mount Anvil, the leading Central London specialist residential-led developer, as our founding donor whose support has been crucial in getting Give London off the ground. Click here to read an interview with their Chief Executive, Killian Hurley. 

One charity is helping young people who’ve survived a perilous journey and arrived in London on their own, with no accompanying adult. Click here to read their story.

The centre has helped over 500 grieving people so far. Some are referred by their local doctor and others just drop in while passing. They help people cope with the problems that can follow loss – the anxiety, stress, sleep deprivation, anger, and depression. And they find the comfort of spending time with people who know what crippling grief feels like. To read their story click here.

The London Community Foundation is proud to announce the launch of its new fundraising initiative ‘GIVE LONDON’. This new fund will sit alongside its existing and well-established Donor Advised Funds and Local Area Funds. To read more click here.

The unique part of London Football Journeys is not the football, but the way the project uses video, explains Alex Baine, who founded the project in 2012, after two years working with a Mumbai project that used football to help slum kids learn life skills and find a way into education. To read the full story click here.

Belong pilot a new way of equipping young men to find a path out of gang culture and to live differently when they are released back into society. To read their full story click here.

They work with 1,600 elderly people, whom they respectfully call “neighbours”, and about the same number of young volunteers. North & South London Cares is a community network of young professionals and older neighbours hanging out with one another in a rapidly changing city. Click here to view the full story.

Mazi Mas is a social enterprise that helps women from migrant and refugee communities to develop their cooking skills and learn how to set up their own businesses. It started as a pop-up venture in 2012. Since March 2015, it has been based in the Ovalhouse theatre, just round the corner from Oval tube station. To read their story click here.

Contact us

Give London
  • Unit 7, Piano House,
  • 9 Brighton Terrace,
  • London SW9 8DJ
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7582 5117
  • Fax: +44 (0)20 7582 4020

Give London is an initiative of The London Community Foundation, registered charity (1091263) and company limited by guarantee (4383269).

Quality accredited by UK Community Foundations to standards endorsed by the Charity Commission.

Terms of Use Privacy & Cookies
Many thanks to:
The Allotment

For the Give London brand identity, imagery and website design

John Angerson and Neil Baker

For the photography and the words

For building our website

All background maps are reproduced by kind permission of Geographers’ A-Z Map Co. Ltd. ©Crown copyright and database rights 2015 OS 100017302.