Chatting to Mali.
At 23 years old, Mali fled from Eritrea to Sudan with his wife and 18-month-old baby, fearing the safety of their future. Life in Sudan was impossibly hard. Many refugees meant no jobs and Mali and his young family were hungry every day.
Mali made the hard decision to leave his family in search of a job and yes, a better life for the three of them (which some condemn, but what is wrong with wanting that!) He travelled across the Sahara desert, the Mediterranean, then the whole of Europe to make it Calais. During this time his phone, money and all his possessions were taken by smugglers. Not caring about the material possessions, which could all be replaced, he was heartbroken by the fact it meant that he was unable to contact his wife. It’s been 9 months since he has spoken to her and he knows nothing about where or how she and their baby are. He desperately describes them to anyone who arrives in the camp having passed through Sudan but this has resulted in no news.
When we spoke he was genuinely at a loss for what to do. The situation he has found himself in now, hungry, cold and alone, is worse than when he could share the pain of the hunger with his wife. But now he has no options. What he had then, despite the dire situation in Sudan, was his family, and hope. Now he has neither.