StoriesAli

I grew up in a small village in Sudan. My dad had been taken from home to fight for the opposition when I was about 10. I never saw him again. I lived at home with my mum, brothers and sisters until I was arrested and detained because the police said my father was an opposition fighter. I was 15. I was badly beaten and interrogated in prison along with many others. I managed to escape with help from a village elder. I made it to Libya but there I was made to work on farms and captured by a gang who sexually assaulted me and beat me until my family sent money.

I left Libya on a wooden boat at night. The boat was very full and I was frightened but I felt like I didn’t have anything to lose anymore. After 2 days at sea we were taken on a big boat to Sicily. We were kept in a camp but there was no one to help and I was cold and hungry all the time.

I feel like I’ve finally been able to rest and I feel safe here. I have got hope for the future again.

I left and travelled to Italy and then France. I stayed in makeshift camps under bridges with other Sudanese people. There were some charities helping but it was no life, it was hopeless. I kept moving and travelled to the UK. I hid in a lorry that stopped in Manchester. It had been 2 years since I left home, I was 17 years old. I told my story to a policeman who stopped me. Then it was all ok, I talked to a Social Worker who got me a place in a house with other people my age.

They got me a solicitor at GMIAU, Isobel. She told me about claiming asylum and helped me do this. I didn’t want to talk at first but she listened and was really kind. I told my whole story. I get a lot of help from Kathleen at GMIAU too. She helped me get a place at college and she got me to go to the All4One group. We meet up every couple of weeks. I’ve got loads of friends now. Last week we visited Manchester United football ground. It was amazing. I feel like I’ve finally been able to rest and I feel safe here. I have got hope for the future again.