Arrival Stories

Many children and young people make their way alone to Europe from countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. They don’t always choose to leave home or know exactly why they were sent – most often their families or others send them sent away for their own safety. They travel overland with agents. The journey is harsh and dangerous and can take months, as they are passed from one minder to the next, going on trucks, containers, small boats, by foot. But they don’t stop thinking of home. S and H from Afghanistan, and R from Iran, describe their feelings.

Most young people have no idea what to expect in the UK, or how they should deal with the new world they find themselves in. It may seem like an adventure but it’s also frightening, and they don’t stop missing their families. S and R talk about ‘settling in’.

L is from Ethiopia. He was brought out under false papers by plane, and doesn’t fully understand why he was in danger. He misses his own mum. A woman was paid to deliver him to a Mosque in London then abandoned him. He longs for a mum and a normal life.

B is from West Darfur. When his family’s home was burnt, he suffered bad injuries. He had a difficult journey out, getting stranded in both Libya and Italy before reaching the UK. Aged only 14, he has been re-settled in Cardiff, but has made his way to London for an important demonstration against the Sudanese government.

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