Mercy Baguma: £30,000 raised for asylum seeker’s funeral

More than 2,000 people have donated to the Gofundme page so far.

A Gofundme page has raised almost £30,000 for the funeral of Mercy Baguma, a Ugandan national who was claiming asylum in the UK.

Police found the 34-year-old’s body beside her malnourished son at a flat in Glasgow on August 22.

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Organisers on the page wrote that they were “devastated” by Mercy’s death, describing her as “an amazing mother, sister, best friend” and “loved by all”.

A Gofundme page has raised almost £30,000 for the funeral of Mercy Baguma, a Ugandan national who was claiming asylum in the UK.

“Mercy was always positive and always put her family first, especially her son,” they wrote.

“Her smile made everyone so welcome and comfortable.”

Explaining the reason for the fundraiser, they wrote: “We are raising money to give her a proper send off and something for her son.

“Please consider helping out her loved ones through this difficult time as they navigate this tragedy and move forward in life without her.

“Donations will go directly to her son [and] family to help with end of life costs and future expenses,” they finished.

More than 2,000 people have so far donated to the fundraiser - with one person pledging £500.

The Crown Office said the Procurator Fiscal has received a report in connection with the 34-year-old’s death and that an investigation is underway.

The charity Positive Action in Housing (PAIH) said Mercy’s son was found “crying beside his mother’s body, weakened from starvation”, and was taken to hospital.

PAIH said it understands that Ms Baguma lost her job after her limited leave to remain expired and she was no longer allowed to work.

It said that, after living in “extreme poverty”, she claimed asylum and was relying on food from friends and charitable organisations.

The human rights charity said it is the “third tragedy to affect the city’s refugee population in as many months” after a Syrian refugee was found dead in his room at a guest house in May, and, in June, Badreddin Abadlla Adam was shot dead by police after six people were injured in a knife attack at the Park Inn Hotel.

Positive Action in Housing director Robina Qureshi said: “Mercy contacted our charity on August 11 and said she was not getting any financial support, yet had made an application to MigrantHelp.

“Had she lived, she would have been a high priority for a crisis payment from our Emergency Relief Fund like hundreds of others left functionally destitute by the asylum system.

“The question remains: why are mothers and babies being left to go hungry in this city? Why is it being left to charities and volunteers to pick up the pieces?”

She added: “Would this mother be alive if she was not forced out of her job by this cruel system that stops you from working and paying your way because a piece of paper says your leave to remain has expired?

“I’m sure Mercy’s son will want to ask this and other questions once he is old enough.”

The charity said the cause of Ms Baguma’s death is not yet known.

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