I’m Mrs Lam, I was born in China but brought up in Vietnam. I’ve been 32 years in the UK. Three years ago, the students (15-16 years old), about ten of them, they knew that I live alone, they came and knocked at my door and ran away, on and off. I was so scared. The children here didn’t respect me. They have disturbed me in the past few years – they stole my lawnmower, broke my fencing. They bullied me because I lived alone. The neighbors were very nice, they kept an eye and will tell the children’s parents. I was very unhappy when they bullied me. They didn’t treat me as an older person. Not like my children.
It was 1979, the Vietnamese anti-Chinese war. They respected me, because we were the refugees that fled from Vietnam. It was a narrow escape. It was very difficult for us to get the money to buy the boat tickets to come here. We had been saving hard. The boat was leaking, we were all crying out loud for help. This was on a newspaper that I saw when we arrived in the UK waiting for the body check. It was on the desk and this was our boat! I’ve asked whether I can keep this magazine and they said ok, I can have it.
On the boat, this was me, this was my husband, my youngest son, my 3rd and 2nd daughters as well. My eldest wasn’t in this photo, he was on a different boat. We were on the boat for a month, look at the state of the boat, it was going to sink anytime. We were going to become the fish’s dinner soon.
Praise the Lord, our family came to UK and had a new life. My children all are working.
I still keep this picture on my wall. I look at it each day.
No matter what happens with the local children or my house or this street, I will always be proud of that moment and how we made a new life for ourselves and our children.