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23 July 2010

Tanzanian graduate is helping African refugees after winning her fight for a UK visa

Tanzanian graduate is helping African refugees after winning her fight for a UK visa

A social worker and church leader who supports African refugees is celebrating her own leave to stay in the UK, alongside thousands of Facebook supporters who campaigned against her deportation.

Tanzanian Scholastica Mokake, who has been living in Norwich for nine years, was originally refused a post-study visa by the UK Border Agency.

Thousands of people rushed to support the family's campaign to stay in the UK, including an online Facebook group with has attracted around 4,800 members.

She was given a reprieve, when she graduated from the University of East Anglia with a PhD in philosophy, which finally gave her the evidence of necessary academic qualifications to remain in England.
A UK Border Agency spokesman said: "An immigration judge has upheld Mrs Mokake's appeal against the visa application refusal and granted her discretionary leave to remain in the UK for three years on human rights grounds."
Scholastica is a member of the Rivers of Life Church, which has been supporting scores of refugees from Africa, helping them learn English and get adjusted to the new culture.

Both her children have grown up in the UK and are involved in their local schools. Scholastica is aiming to help other immigrants to get involved in the local community and church. Her effort brings many new people into the church, which started in 2009 and now has more than 100 members.

Celebrating a joyous graduation ceremony, Scholastica can finally plan ahead for the next years. "I believe, if all these people are for us, no immigration law can be against us," she says. "I am thankful for all the support, love and kindness."

Story and picture used by courtesy of Network Norwich.