Monday, 17 June 2019

Towards the World Refugee Day - Story about Childhood

Towards the World Refugee Day, we are presenting testimonies of migrants who we were talking to within the activities performed as part of the project "Protection Monitoring and Assistance to Refugees and Migrants in Belgrade" funded by Save the Children.

“My first association to childhood is my mother stroking my head. Yes, it was more than ten years ago but I remember it clearly.

Kunduz is my town and a place where I played with my brothers, where I went to school, but I did not feel sorry when I set off on a journey, as I knew that I had to. I will tell you why.

I lived with two brothers and three sisters on the outskirts of the town, in a small earth house. As a boy I used to play with my brothers all the time since one is four years older than me, and the other one year younger. We loved sports, especially football and cricket and we would often stay out all day playing. When we did not have to help our parents, of course. 

Our mother was in the house while the father was recruited by the military service fighting a war against the Taliban. The problems started when he came back home. The Taliban controlled the entire area and when dad returned from the army they found out that he had fought against them and that he was alive, so they started to threaten to slaughter us all. 

We decided to run away to Pakistan, while my older brother went to Germany illegally. The life in Pakistan was tough, dad worked, assisted the carpenters, we were very poor. In addition, the Pakistanis were very unpleasant to us, and when they started threatening us too, we decided to go back to our home in Kunduz. 

The Taliban greeted us with rifles and renewed threats to kill us. After a month of mistreatment, one day, my dad told them: “Do whatever you want to me, just don’t hurt my children.” The next day, they dropped a bomb under his car, he survived but both his legs were amputated. We were desperate. For the next several months we lived of the money that my brother sent from Germany, as he found a job and was working as a cleaner in a gym, at least that’s what he told us.   

It is then that I realised that it was my turn. In Afghanistan I had a choice to either join the military service or to be abused by the Taliban daily. There was no other work outside the military service. I gave up on college because in Afghanistan people who have diplomas sell scarves, there is no work. I brought the decision to join my brother and start earning money so that I could help my family. My parents borrowed 6,000 Euros, paid a smuggler to take me to Germany and one night the smuggler came to pick me up. I was sad while I was leaving my home, but I knew that my parents were hungry at that moment and I also knew what my responsibility towards them was. “

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