What’s like to be an asylum seeker in this country?

How does it feel to have no home, no money, no job, no right to study?

Michael fled from his country in Africa 14 years ago and was street-homeless in London for two years. He slowly rebuilt his life and got leave to remain in the UK. Michael is an inspirational storyteller. He has spoken to many fascinated audiences – at the Young Vic, the British Museum, the Houses of Parliament and numerous schools. From him, you will learn what it’s really like to be an asylum seeker in the UK.

If you would like Michael to visit your school, please get in touch. He will tell his story simply – and he will make you laugh.  He’ll bring the racksack in which he once carried a few essential possessions….

Some reviews of Michael’s work:

"[Michael] helped to transform ‘refugee’ from abstract to concrete…. The story of his bravery and courage was inspirational…. Michael, we hope that you will visit us again next year and we trust that you will continue to consider yourself as a friend of the school." Head Teacher, Ashmole Primary School

"I enjoyed the Cotton Tree Trust talk the most this year… it was very interesting and informative and we were able to learn more about the asylum-seeking process refugees have to go through, from the perspective of someone with personal experience." Pupil from Putney High School for Girls

"Compared to all the other talks [the Cotton Tree talk] was more personal to the person speaking and all the girls felt touched and interested by what he was saying." Teachers from Putney High School for Girls

Find out more 

Education & training branch