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TellingTheRealStory.org: We regret coming here and we are planning to return - Eritrean kids in Shagarab, Sudan

Posted by: Berhane Habtemariam

Date: Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Eritrean Refugee in Shagarab, Sudan

November 21, 2017

“Back home, I would to travel to the nearby village to get to high school, as there were not any high schools in our village. My older brother is still in the National service, and ever since his departure, I was responsible for taking care of our parents. I used to work in the farm and do anything to sustain the family. Shouldering the family responsibility took a lot of my time and was unable to focus on my studies. I failed in 10th grade and was not given a chance to enroll again for the same grade. Since I left school, I kept receiving numerous “summons” from local administration to report to the military training centre; as a result, I decided to leave.

Through my contacts, I was able to hire a smuggler who brought me to Sudan.   Together with another person, we travelled for 6 days until we finally crossed the border into Sudan. Of course we paid a lot of money to the smuggler.

When I left, I was so optimistic that, I can make it to Europe within short time and support my family. However, now I have found myself in a difficult situation. Now, my plan began falling apart as my health began to deteriorate, the route to Libya has become difficult and I lack resources. Life in the camp is very tough, it is even worse for those who do not have family support.” Eritrean refugee in Shagarab Sudan

Eritrean refugee in Shagarab, Sudan

..............It did not took me long to realize, things are much complicated than I thought/planned. I am not ready to live the rest of my life in the camp; I prefer die trying than die in the camp.”

“I arrived in Sudan just a month ago. My experience in the hands of the traffickers was a nightmare, I was beaten, hands and legs cuffed, deprived of water and food until my parents paid the ransom.

I travelled in a group of two boys and three girls and it took us almost three days to reach the border. Traffickers and smugglers normally prey along the border and are holding several people for ransom and rape women and girls.

I used to believe, I will have personal freedom, which I yearned for long time, and at some point, I would be able to work and support my family. However, none of these has come into fruition. I am still in the camp, it depresses me to see people still in the camp for decades, who are not able to work and venture out of the camp.

It did not took me long to realize, things are much complicated than I thought/planned. I am not ready to live the rest of my life in the camp; I prefer die trying than die in the camp.”

Eritrean refugee in Shagarab, Sudan

Eritrean unaccompanied children in Shagarab, Sudan

............We regret coming here and we are planning to return with the help of UNHCR. We miss our families and we want to go back to school and be normal kids. We will never try this again!”

“I travelled with my friends – we are five – and it has been almost three weeks since we arrive in Sudan. We were all students in the same grade, 6th grade in Elementary school.  We were brought up together, we love each other, we trust each other, we play together and we go to the same school, we spend most of the time after school playing football. Our bond of friendship is very strong and we consider one another as brothers. However, something changed around mid-2016, one our friends left the country and came to Sudan alone without informing us. He arrived in Shagarab first and then continued to Khartoum. We have not had any communication with him since he left and we only know from his family that he is in Khartoum and doing well.

One day the rest of us discussed and decided that if our friend was able to make it why not us? We agreed to give it a try, we were very excited about the prospects of life in Sudan. We lived in a town close to the boarder. One evening we all met secretly and decided to come to Sudan, we travelled to Sudan by ourselves. We walked for almost a day and finally, with the help of some herdsmen along the way, we arrived in Wad Sharifay, a refugee reception center.  Within a few days we were transferred us to Shagarab. We regret coming here and we are planning to return with the help of UNHCR. We miss our families and we want to go back to school and be normal kids. We will never try this again!”

Unaccompanied and Separated Children in Shagarab Sudan.

14 November 2017

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