A typical day
Rachel’s days are incredibly varied as she cares for three young people, two from Sudan and one from Afghanistan, all of whom are practising Muslims.
We spoke with Rachel during Ramadan, so her ‘typical day’ isn’t an accurate representation of her life, but it’s still critical to be aware of this important holiday in the lives of many of our unaccompanied children seeking asylum.
“Right now, our days are backwards. The boys are sleeping most of the day. As they can’t eat or drink during the day it can be a struggle to be up during sunlight hours, and then they’re awake, active and eating all night.
“Any other time of year, the boys are up early and eager to get to their places of education, but right now, getting the boys up can be a bit of a struggle because it’s Ramadan, which can be incredibly draining on their minds and bodies.
“When they wake up around 5pm, they mentally, physically, and spiritually prepare themselves.” A significant portion of this preparation is known as wudu, a purification process that every Muslim must perform before praying.
“Then we’ll all cook together, so plan on spending more time in your kitchen than you’ve ever spent before. Everything is made from scratch, and all ingredients are fresh and purchased at the market.
“We’ll play marble games, a favourite pastime of theirs, as well as other simple games. I was initially concerned about the language barrier, but we communicated using translation apps or the very simple method of nodding once for yes and twice for no. My older two boys go to the gym late at night, and I spend my time doing housework or relaxing.
“One of the boys has an emergency dentist appointment tomorrow because his teeth are bothering him, so we’ll go there. But, because it’s Ramadan, nothing can be done, even though he’s in a lot of pain, because the dentist won’t be able to spray water in his mouth or anything.”