Danao’s Story – #WhyIBorrowed

When I needed a friend, she was there. I was new to the country and didn’t know how or where to ask for guidance. So I turned to someone familiar. She said she was a nurse, just like me. She said she could make the first few months easier. She said she could take the pressure off whilst I settled into the UK. Everyone from my community does it, she said. She took me under her wing. She showed me around. She lent me money. She’s not my friend. I borrowed £500 and agreed to pay back £50 each week. That’s fine until there’s a birthday, or until the overtime dries up or until something happens in the family and they need a little extra money contributing. I have responsibilities to my family and they can’t know I’m in this trouble. I’m so ashamed. She knows this. Before I borrowed a penny, she knew exactly how to control me. And how did she know? Because I told her. During friendly evenings at the community centre, I told her everything. If I refuse to pay her back, she’ll expose my debt. She’ll start rumours at work. She’ll talk about me on Facebook. So I pay to keep my secret, and my family’s reputation. you

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