Mercy Baguma

So many of us were shocked to hear about Mercy Baguma’s death after she had been refused asylum in the UK. I think it particularly hit me hard because she lived in Govan, which has also been my home for the past 20 years.

Even though the system for seeking refuge in the UK has been deliberately turned into a hostile environment, many people have expressed their care by generously raising funds.

I’m very grateful to Eric Nnanna for allowing me to paint Mercy and Adriel. Eric was Mercy’s partner and is Adriel’s father. He and Adriel have now been granted asylum in the UK. Adriel will grow up knowing his father’s love and will be told of his mother’s love for him too. I would also like Adriel to grow up knowing the love and kindness of people like you.

Please leave a message of support for Adriel here, which I can give to Eric to read to him as he grows up.

Comments: 31 (Add)

John Wakefield on May 15 2021 at 17:05

Hi little buddy. I'm a musician and song will come through you and your mommie. I lived in Hurlford and played music all over Ayrshire. A mommie's love never dies. You are behaving yourself, right .. !? .. !!

Ali W on April 27 2021 at 14:56

Scotland is better because you are here Adriel. Your mum made it better too - in her life and also bringing people together even after she was gone.
I didn’t know your mum personally but felt such sadness on hearing she had died - I hope you feel the love and hope that many of us have for you. Xx

Ally on March 21 2021 at 11:36

Dear Adriel,

Sending you love, light and hope whenever things are rough. I’m so sorry your mum is not with you in person but she will always be with you in power and in strength when you need it the most.

Love Ally x

Rosemary on December 24 2020 at 13:23

Greetings from Adelaide, South Australia, Adriel!

May your cup overflow with an abundance of happiness and love!

What a beautiful painting of you and your beloved Mother which will be cherished for the rest of your life.

With lots of love to you and your Dad!


Who was very proud to have been born in Glasgow although she lives far across the sea!

Graham O’Neill on December 23 2020 at 15:50

Dear Adriel and Eric. Sending you love and strength in this most difficult year for you all. To the life and memory of Mercy (your Mum and your partner) and who meant so much to you both and to so many people. Love too for your future in 2021 and well beyond as you grow up. Graham

Alison Phipps on December 23 2020 at 11:25

In the darkest days on 2020, when death cruelly took your mum, the arms of your father, and a wide community and family wrapped around you and around her memory, to hold this as a light for the future. We pray you will know peace and the deep qualities of mercy throughout your life and that this image can be one which is precious as a gift of honour.

Chas Gay on December 23 2020 at 09:18

Dear Adriel (and Eric) - we were all so sad at the loss of your mum (and partner) - and we are all so committed to help if and when needed as you grow up. I didn't know your mum but she sounds like a really lovely character. We hope that your extended family in Uganda are well and that you get to go back there one day and visit them too.

Kate on December 23 2020 at 05:20

What a beautiful portrait of you and your mum Ariel. I send love to you and your Dad Eric and pray you will both have a good and full life together in Scotland.

Hazel on December 22 2020 at 15:15

Hi Adriel, I am sending love to you and your Dad. You are a very deeply and dearly loved wee boy and you will grow into a deeply and dearly loved man. Loved by your Mum and Dad, loved by your wider family and community, loved by God. This is a tough time when your Mum is not here but never doubt how deeply she loved you. I trust and pray you will hold tight to those who love you and they will hold tight to you. Peace and joy to you.

Jo Love on December 22 2020 at 11:25

Hi Adriel,
I hope that whenever your Dad reads this to you, you're both having a good day. I wonder if it's a bit strange getting all these messages from people you haven't met! I hope you have lots of great friendships with boys and girls and grownups you do know well. It's great when people get on well, look after each other, do fun things together, and help each other be our best. I wish you lots of confidence and courage, so you can enjoy being you, and be proud of yourself! With love from your unknown friend, Jo x

Graeme McM on December 22 2020 at 08:23

In times of loneliness,
may you always know that you are welcome,
In times of uncertaity,
may you always know that you have a future,
In times of grief,
may you always know that you are loved,
In times of absence,
may you always know that you have a home.

David on December 22 2020 at 06:07

Dear Adriel,

I want you to know you are welcome in Scotland. This is your home. As you grow up, enjoy the sites. Drink some irn bru. Have tablet. Go to a Burns Supper. Go to Edinburgh at Festival Time. Dance at a ceilidh.

Your mum will always be with you and we are always with her and your family. With love and prayers always xxx

Mandy Ralph on December 21 2020 at 19:58

Adriel although we may never meet please know that now and in the future I will hold you in my prayers. I, with so many others are pleased you are staying with us and will grow up alongside us. Carry your mum in your heart always and know even though she is not with you, she carries you in her heart, as does God. Losing your mum so young is really hard and you may feel angry, sad, full of emotions at times, all these feelings are because you have lost someone precious to you and are a normal part of our grief journey. Cherish the memories your dad will share with you xx

David D on December 21 2020 at 17:19

It must be absolutely overwhelming for you Adriel. Everything must be so confusing and frightening right now... if you should ever read this; I would just like you to know that you should stay strong, though I already know that you will be, you’ll have the drive and passion that has been instilled in you from your remarkable parents and the backing and wishes of a multitude of kind strangers... please remember this and use it to be the best you that you can be!

David on December 21 2020 at 16:47

I have just looked up the meaning of your name, Adriel. "Follower of God", "God is my master", or "one of God's flock." I don't know how your name was decided but I expect they hoped that this would be true for you. Things happen in our lives sometimes that we can't explain, and some things from our early years can have an impact on us in later life. I pray that your father's love will help to heal the experience, that you will know that his love is an expression of God's love for you and that you have a life where you find purpose and fulfilment.

Bob Thomas on December 21 2020 at 16:28

Dear Adriel,
I hope and pray you and your dad will always find a welcome wherever you go. Mr Campbell's painting of you and your mother is beautiful and full of love. May that beauty and love stay with you for ever.

Pat B. on December 21 2020 at 16:22

Dear Adriel, I hope that as you look at Iain's beautiful picture of your Mummy, you will feel her very close to you, and know the deep love she had for you. I was so happy to hear that you and your daddy will be able to remain here in Glasgow. I hope that it will always feel a safe and welcoming place for you to be.

Louise McMorris on December 21 2020 at 16:08

You were made with a purpose.

We were all so shocked and sad to hear about your Mum's death, I'm sorry you had to go through that and are growing up without your Mum.

Remember you have a purpose, even when you don't know what it is yet, or can't see it clearly. 💛

Phil White on December 21 2020 at 15:59

Adriel, your mother was a beautiful, much loved human being, made in the image of God. I am sad that she will not be with you in person for Christmas but she will be with you in spirit, close to you and inspiring you. Please feel very warmly welcome in our little country and I wish you God's great Shalom!

Lucy on December 21 2020 at 15:45

Dear Adriel. I am so sad that your beautiful mother is no longer with you. But I can tell you something - I am a mama too, so I know the fierce, powerful, unstoppable love that every mama has for their little ones. And I know that your mama's love will be with you always. I am so glad that Scotland is home now for you and your dad, and I hope that you feel safe, happy, loved and welcomed here.

Renita Boyle on December 21 2020 at 15:28

May you be loved
May you be embraced
May you be resilient
May you be of grace
May you be in peace
May you be in joy
May you be in safety
May you be in community
May you be at home

Stewart on December 21 2020 at 14:58

Adriel, I'm so glad that Glasgow has become your home. I'm sure that you will make an amazing contribution to the life of the city, and to Scotland. I'm going to keep trying my best to make sure that Scotland is always a place that is friendly to everyone and those, like you and your dad, who choose to live here are welcomed with open arms.

Felix Daly on December 21 2020 at 14:57

Dear Adriel.
I am so pleased to learn that you and your father have been allowed to stay in Glasgow. When I heard the awful news of your mother, I was heartbroken that this had been able to happen. I hope that communities like myself will now look to the needs of others to prevent such situations from ever happening again.

Sara on December 21 2020 at 14:50

Hello little man, I saw the portrait of you and your mummy. What a beautiful angel your mum is - and there you are, nestled beside her as she’ll always be with you Adriel

I hope your home here in Glasgow is a happy one and that you know that you’re welcome here. You are little fella, so welcome. Sending you all the love and kindness little fella x

Laura on December 21 2020 at 14:40

Adriel, I want you to know that you are welcome here in Glasgow. I hope as you grow up, you'll find this city to be a hospitable place. I wasn't born here, but that's no barrier to being a Glaswegian. Scotland is richer for the many cultures brought here by the people who adopt this country as their home. In honour of your and your mum, I promise I'll keep fighting against the 'hostile environment'. Offering asylum to people who need it makes us all richer. We can all be the future of Glasgow, the future of Scotland.

Iain Campbell on December 21 2020 at 14:12

Dear Adriel,
I’m so glad that you and your dad are able to stay in Glasgow, I hope we get to meet some day. I promise you that I’ll be playing my part to help make the place we live a kinder, more welcoming place. I’ll always be thinking of you.
With love and blessings,

Anne McDonald on December 14 2020 at 20:25

You are a beautiful child and I’m confident you will become one amazing adult, and be a ambassador for others in your mothers plight. God Bless you.

Marilyn Shedden on December 14 2020 at 18:07

Dear Adriel,
I was so touched by Iain's beautiful painting of your beautiful Mum. I would love to have met her as she showed such strength and courage and her eyes shone with tenderness in her love for you. I wish every blessing for you and your Dad as you make your home in Scotland and know that you are welcomed, loved and treasured here.

Ruth and ally on December 14 2020 at 17:13

Adriel we were lucky enough to get to meet you and your wonderful dad this year. You are the most special wee soul, you can see how much your mum loved you in your sparkly nature. Scotland is lucky to have had her here with us ❤️

Kerry Sharkey on December 14 2020 at 09:55

I was lucky enough to meet your mum Adriel. She was just lovely. We met at the Wee Welcome Toddler group in January 2020 and I came to your home once a few months later. Your mum wasn't feeling well at all that day but she still answered the door with a smile. She was so clearly in love with you. Having a little one is very tiring but she would always laugh with delight when she spoke of you, she sparkled! She was full of joy and happy to share it with others. May she rest in peace watching you grow from afar and sending her love to you always.
With love and joy and strength to you and your Dad,

Michela on December 13 2020 at 22:21

Dear Adriel I know very well that feeling ... but your beautiful mom will be with you forever. She is a shining star 🌟 in the sky because the love for you. I didn’t know her but one night I saw a shining star near my mom’s star and I received a message of love for you from her : - Be strong and Gentle Adriel ❤️- Her wonderful heart and soul will revive inside you ❤️