Hi, I’m Haneen, I’m 16. I have 3 siblings. My friends would describe me as funny, a good listener and that I give great advice! My parents would say that I’m loud, a bit naughty, but nice as well. I like playing sports, especially football. And I really like baking. I recently went to a festival and I tried out street dance and flamenco. I loved the street dance!

I was born in Sudan, when I came here I didn’t know English, only ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Also at home, it was really quiet. In Sudan the door is always open, family and friends just pop in. Things are closed off here and we didn’t know a lot of people. But I had a really good friend at Primary school. We did everything together. She helped me a lot, with plenty of sign language. I had a support worker. She took me all the way back to learning ‘1,2,3…’ It was such hard work but eventually, it paid off.

I came into contact with Babbasa at a coffee morning I went to. I did their LifeShops course where I learnt about new skills needed in life and in the workplace, like being confident and speaking up if you experience something you’re not comfortable with. I also learnt to debate which is good because I want to be a Lawyer. If there’s an argument, I tend to pick a side and defend that side. I’ve always been like that. It’s part of my personality. If I know something is wrong, I want to do something about it. Babbasa has also helped me think through my plans of going to Uni to study Law.

I recently passed my GCSEs! So I’ll be starting sixth form at a new school now. I’m excited but it will be a bit of a challenge – new school, new people. My advice to my younger self? Take notes after each lesson and make flashcards. It’ll be much easier to prepare for exams!