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Refugee Lawyer Craves Good Education for Her Children


Refugee Lawyer Craves Good Education for Her Children

29 December 2020 Also available in:
Laila is grateful for the support from UNHCR and other NGOs. “They gave us hope, respect and supported me in every aspect.”

After resettling to the US from Hong Kong in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Laila (a pseudonym) reflects on a journey that began six years ago when she fled her home country in East Africa with nothing but her most important possessions: two children, aged 8 and 10.

Desperate upon landing in Hong Kong, getting refugee status with the assistance of UNHCR changed Laila's life. A lawyer in her home country, Laila was able to complete a Master of Law on a scholarship and won a training opportunity in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, her children thrived in Hong Kong's school system. They learned Cantonese, made friends and her son even played football for one of the city’s leading football academies. It’s no wonder that education is key for Laila: “All I want is for my children to get a good education, it makes their lives easier.”

Happy to reunite with Laila’s younger sister in the US, the family still misses Hong Kong. “We were happy to go but sad to leave, especially my children. They miss their friends.” Her advice to fellow refugees:“Learn something for your future and always stay positive.”



The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established on 14 December 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee issues. It strives to ensure that everyone has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, with the option to voluntarily return home when conditions are conducive for return, integrate locally or resettle to a third country. UNHCR has twice won the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1954 for its ground-breaking work in helping the refugees of Europe, and in 1981 for its worldwide assistance to refugees.