**UPDATE** Julian has now arrived safely in Columbia and has officially been accepted by the University of Lisbon- Faculta de Belas Artes, to study painting!!
Hello friends and relatives of Julian Restrepo Sanchez,
My name is Simone and I am just one of the many people who have had the incredible good fortune and joy of knowing Julian and being part of his life during his 11+ years in London. For so many of us, he has enriched our lives beyond measure, bringing so much love, laughter, generosity of spirit, loyalty, kindness, creativity and friendship. A truly unique human being who uplifts everyone, just by radiating who he is!
As some of you may know, Julian is about to make a huge change in his life. He’s about to take an enormous leap. On the 27th April 2018, he’s leaving the UK in order to follow his dreams and start a new life. First, he’ll return home to Colombia to see his family (for the first time since he was 19!). Then, his plan is to apply for a visa to move to Portugal in order to study Fine Arts at university.
I have started this fundraiser for him because the truth is, he is going to need all the support he can get and I wanted to reach out to all of the people who love and treasure him dearly, to see if we can help. This is our opportunity to show Julian our love, support and gratitude by helping him through this big transition in his life.
Julian arrived in London over 11 years ago, a 19 year-old Colombian boy who barely spoke any English or knew anybody. It was a new world for him. He has been through a great deal since then and those of us who’ve known him have watched him blossom and grow into an incredible, strong, wise, courageous, kind beautiful (multi-linguistic!) young man and artist.
I asked him what have been some of the highlights of his time in London and he replied “Everything! London gave me the best life lesson I could learn. Gave me people that truly love me. Friends from all over the world, without caring about race or status, they are friends and I love them. London has moulded me into this little thing that wants to create and spray love."
“What’s inspiring you now, to make this big change?” I asked. “Realising that my life was ruled by fear, and that now I have the power to take control of my life and follow my heart. He responded. "After a long journey, I've found meaning in my life, through art. With all the political stuff that is going on, things are only getting tougher for me here, in my situation and after
11 years outside my land, I wish to return to Colombia for a few
months to see my parents again and to apply for a visa to study painting at the University of Lisbon.
I want to move to Portugal so that I can study what I love whilst still being able to see my friends easily."
Here are some of the things that Julian needs money for:
- Immigration Lawyer fees
- Visas and legal documents
- University fees ( € 3500 per year)
I’m setting the fundraising goal for £10,000 but Julian has said “whatever I get would be a blessing.” So please, if you can spare some money to help out, whether it’s big or small, every little bit helps!
Thank you so much!