Mohamed proves sad stories can have happy endings
The youngest refugees are often the most vulnerable and the ones you worry about the most, even when they tower above you. In some ways Mohamed was lucky, a volunteer met and befriended him and so he had a roof over his head for some time. He also managed to find three protective older Eritrean friends, but these guys soon found Calais an impossible place to cross to the UK from. Police violence and a hostile policy wore them down. Soon they found the money required to move to Brussels and pay for ‘parking’ there.
This left Mohamed alone in Calais and struggling to cope with the nightly challenge to cross the channel. So he too moved to Brussels. I saw him occasionally but as time went on and his three friends ‘passed’ Mohamed grew skinnier and he found it harder to exist there. It was slowly destroying him. Each week he’d lost weight and he wasn’t exactly fat to begin with. But he was always tried to be cheerful and happy to see us, but if we asked he’d say it was so difficult to survive and the police were horrible to him.
I hated leaving him there each week, but there wasn’t a lot else I could do. On my last day in Brussels I was watching the line when a young guy called me over. “Mohamed has passed” he whispered, “he is safe.”
The relief I felt was indescribable and I had to turn away. The relief you feel is intense and the emotions the words bring overwhelming. He is 16, from Sudan and so will be safe until he is 18, but then what?
A friend told me he is with a good family in Halifax and about to start college.
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