Llamau, exemplifies the principles of compassion and inclusivity by welcoming and providing dedicated care for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. In a world marked by displacement and turmoil, these vulnerable young individuals often find themselves without the protection and support they need. Llamau's commitment to embracing and looking after unaccompanied asylum-seeking children is crucial in fostering a society that values the well-being of all, irrespective of their origins. By offering a haven and support network, Llamau not only addresses the immediate needs of these children but also contributes to their long-term integration and resilience in their new community. 

In recognition of Llamau's pivotal role in embodying the values of the Nation of Sanctuary, we were delighted to facilitate one of the evidence collecting sessions during the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) official visit to Wales. This significant opportunity underscores our commitment to providing a sanctuary for those in need and positions the organization as a key partner in contributing valuable insights and firsthand experiences to inform the UNHCR's mission. Hosting evidence collecting session further solidifies Llamau's dedication to championing the rights and well-being of individuals seeking refuge, aligning seamlessly with the broader goals of fostering a compassionate and inclusive society. 

In the realm of refugee advocacy, the imperative for asylum-seeking children to share their lived experiences with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) cannot be overstated. Beyond being narratives of personal struggle, these stories serve as profound testaments to the unique challenges faced by this particularly vulnerable demographic. As young individuals navigating treacherous paths in search of safety and refuge, their firsthand accounts offer a poignant and authentic glimpse into the complexities of forced migration. Sharing these experiences with the UNHCR becomes an act of empowerment, allowing these children to contribute substantively to global conversations on refugee rights and protection. Their narratives not only shape policies but also resonate as potent advocacy tools, humanizing statistics and fostering a deeper understanding of the urgent need for a compassionate, rights-focused approach to addressing the multifaceted issues within the global refugee crisis. In essence, these shared stories amplify the voices of asylum-seeking children, propelling a call to action for improved support systems and comprehensive policies that uphold their rights and ensure their well-being. 

Llamau leads a partnership in the leading asylum-related project, My Way Home, that aims to prevent and address youth homelessness in Cardiff. Through a comprehensive approach and targeted interventions, My Way Home seeks to provide young people with the support and resources they need to leave homelessness behind for good. To achieve this goal, increased funding is essential. 

Funded by the National Lottery, My Way Home is a collaboration between Llamau, Cardiff Council, Cardiff University, the Salvation Army, Wales Refugee Council, Shelter Cymru, Platfform, Cadwyn Housing Association, United Welsh Housing Association, and Cardiff & Vale University Health Board. The project recognizes that housing is not a standalone issue and aims to tackle the three common problems identified in addressing youth homelessness: 

  1. Rapidly increasing demand for services: My Way Home prioritizes early intervention and prevention strategies to ensure young people do not become homeless in the first place. 

  1. Complex issues and trauma faced by young people: The project offers person-centred support, addressing the root causes of homelessness and empowering individuals to sustain tenancies and move forward. 

  1. Disengagement during transitions: My Way Home focuses on smooth transitions from children's to adult services, providing additional support to prevent young people from experiencing homelessness in adulthood. 

To achieve its objectives, My Way Home is built on three key themes of provision: 

  1. Early Intervention/Prevention: 

  • Upstream Cymru: Universal screening tool to identify young people at risk of homelessness. 

  • Specialist support for asylum seekers, refugees, and families in need. 

  • Mediation, housing advice, and youth homelessness prevention coordinators. 

  • Specialized housing advice, substance misuse services, and support for families affected by incarceration or domestic abuse. 

  1. Accommodation Based Person-Centred Support: 

  • Support for addressing exploitation and substance misuse issues. 

  • Access to education, training, and employment opportunities. 

  • Mental health support and peer mentoring to promote well-being. 

  • Adult mentoring and engagement activities for personal and social development. 

  1. Transitions: 

  • Mentoring and advocacy for successful move-on from homelessness. 

  • Comprehensive support for individuals facing exploitation, substance misuse, and mental health challenges. 

  • Collaboration with Tai Ffres, a youth housing association, and promotion of Housing First approach. 

  • Partnerships with social housing providers and private landlords to secure suitable accommodation. 

The My Way Home project aims to assist young people up to the age of 25 who are already homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The project focuses on specific vulnerable groups, including those who have experienced trauma or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), refugees and asylum seekers, LGBTQ+ community members, and individuals with complex needs such as physical or mental health issues and substance misuse. The project acknowledges that many young people accessing their services may not be in mainstream education or training, may have additional learning needs, or lack a support network. 

The My Way Home project represents a comprehensive and strengths-based approach to tackling youth homelessness in Cardiff. By prioritizing early intervention, providing person-centred support, and ensuring smooth transitions, this project addresses the underlying factors that lead to homelessness and empowers young individuals to build stable and fulfilling lives. However, more funding is needed to sustain and expand the impact of the My Way Home project. By investing in this initiative, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of vulnerable young people, helping them find their way home and break free from the cycle of homelessness.