Baobab is like a tunnel. Outside the tunnel you are exposed to the elements. Going through the tunnel shapes your life and gives you hope as you approach the light’.
One of Baobab’s Young Survivors

------------------------------------------------------------------------------- May 2021

The Baobab Centre today joins the Together With Refugees campaign, a coalition of UK human rights associations that are united in calling for a fairer, more humane, and more welcoming asylum system.
The UK asylum system is broken. The government needs to scrap its current plans and  honor its obligations under the 1951 Refugee convention to offer protection and refuge to those fleeing traumatic, life-threatening violence. It needs to start listening to the stories of those who have reached the UK, by any means, in order to find hope and rebuild their lives. 
The Baobab Centre will use the opportunity of the planned debate on the Government's proposals to make sure the voices of Baobab's young refugees and asylum seekers are heard, and their interests defended.

The Baobab Centre is an organisation that enables child, adolescent and young adult asylum seekers who have experienced a series of overwhelming and violent events during their developmental years to thrive in exile. We work with child, adolescent and young adult asylum seekers and refugees who have experienced humiliation, violence, trafficking and violation in their home countries and/or on their often prolonged journeys into exile in the UK. Many will have been forced by adults to witness violent acts. Many are direct survivors of violence. Some have been forced to perpetrate acts of brutality themselves. Over ninety per cent of those who attend the centre arrive alone in the UK. On arrival, they are often re-traumatised by their experiences of having to navigate through complex, unfamiliar systems in which their needs are not always met.

The Baobab Centre runs as a non-residential therapeutic community because, over many years in discussion with the young people who attend, we have found that this is the best way to meet the needs of young people separated from their families, communities, culture and way of life. Every young person who attends our Centre has a key worker within our staff team. We offer a mixture of psychotherapeutic and therapeutic help. This means everybody who attends has the possibility of accessing individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, practical casework and social work support and a variety of group-based therapeutic activities, including regular music workshops, a philosophy discussion group and individual and group English classes as well as holiday projects and an annual summer therapeutic retreat.

We see the young people for as long as they wish and need to be seen. We aim to support them to think about, understand and process their vulnerabilities and to rediscover their pre-existing strengths so that they accept themselves for who they are and become able to manage their feelings, memories and thoughts. We support them to build resilience in the form of belonging and reflection, agency and flexibility, creativity and imagination as well as through the capacity to problem solve and form links with the community of exile. We aim to facilitate the process of progressive development and of trusting relationships with peers and adults. Baobab provides a transitional space between the young person’s home country and finding a place in the community of exile where they feel free to be themselves and contribute to community life.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------- March 2021

------------------------------------------------------------------------------- February 2021

Visit "My World" - 
a Baobab Centre exhibition of photographs of daily life, from all our community members (February 2021).

[This page last updated 30/3/2021]