What they did for all the young people, they helped build lives for people who had no parents.

Gul’s Story – Fearless in the Face of Adversity

My name is Gulrasoul Tarakhel, I came to Ireland on the 18th of March 2009. When I first came to Bellevue, I was very nervous, everything was new for me and I didn’t speak any English at that time.

Pam was my first keyworker. She looked after me with all the cases and all the papers, how I was doing and how I was getting on with my school, education, everything. She was very good. Orla was my second key worker for the rest of my time in Bellevue. I’ll never forget one thing she said to me ‘look if you need anything or something makes you feel sad, if you need help for school, you can tell me’. She was great and helped me with everything during my time there.

We were a family in Bellevue, the other residents, the staff, we always had good times. I remember our first house holiday. At that time I didn’t know what a holiday looked like! We went to Galway, it was actually really great with all the other young people. There were some nice activities, swimming, restaurants and golf.

My three years in Bellevue were the best, all the help with school, homework, preparation for the future. What they did for all the young people, they helped build lives for people who had no parents. They gave me the confidence I didn’t know I had until I stepped out that door, they made me ready to face the world.

When I turned 18 I was still not finished school and I was allowed to stay in Bellevue until I had. I wanted to move to Waterford and the staff arranged it for me. They put all my stuff in the car and Robert came with me to the hostel.

That was five years ago and since then so much has happened. I got my status in 2014 which allowed me to work in Ireland and hopefully one day study. I was able to make the application for my two younger brothers in Afghanistan to come live in Ireland. Bellevue were there again and wrote me a letter for the Department of Justice saying I was a good person, a good character. That was a big help.

When it was time to meet them at the airport I was actually shaking, thinking oh my God I can’t believe I am going to see them again after all these years. I hardly remembered their faces after so much time had passed. When they arrived, I cried, hugged them and brought them home. We went for a meal together that night, I ordered them pizza because I knew they never had it before. Today they are good, they go to school, they have friends, they’re happy.

I’ll never forget what Bellevue did for me over the years. They have shown me how to be fearless in the face of adversity. It doesn’t matter how many years go by I will still remember all the staff did for me there.