Dami Makinde

Dami was born in Nigeria and moved to the UK when she was 8. She grew up in the UK as an undocumented migrant, but didn’t really understand the impact it would have on her life until she was 17 years old. Although Dami might look, talk and behave like her school friends, she was different. She couldn’t apply for a driving licence, travel abroad, work or even go to university.  Finally, her status sorted out – but even with that, Dami found that she still couldn’t go to university. More than travelling, working or driving, she wanted to have her head stuck in books and a degree certificate at the end of it. But she was blocked. She wasn’t recognised as a home student, so she didn’t qualify for home student fees or a student loan.  Luckily, Dami came across Just for Kids Law, and its Let us Learn campaign.  She attended one of its meetings, and was overwhelmed by the number of young people in the room, who were all in the same situation as her.  She wasn’t alone after all. That was the first step to recovery and owning back her life.  Dami began working on the Let Us Learn project as a full member of staff. Some of her role included:

  • Empowering young migrants to effectively tell their story of self, in order to change the public’s negative perception of migrants;
  • Developing and supporting young migrants to become leaders through one-to-one meetings, leadership programmes and public actions;
  • Delivering workshop in schools and raising awareness of irregular status amongst young people

Dami is now on secondment at the GLA working on the Citizenship and Integration Initiative, which sits under London Deputy Mayor – Matthew Ryder.