Recently I got a private message on Instagram from a boy that told me:
“I am Eritrean and I see what you do, it makes me feel there are people who care.
Thanks. I love you.”
This meant a lot to me so I replied, and we started chatting. I asked him where he lived and whether he was with his family, he told me:
“I came to USA alone when I was 16, after fleeing Eritrea and living in a refugee Camp in Sudan for a while. I’m 25 now and live in Salt Lake City.”
I asked him if he had ever been back, and he said:
“I can’t go back. They would lock me up. I ran illegally and walked for 3 weeks across the Sahara.
After I left, my father died. There was no closure for me, I couldn’t even be at his funeral.
My father was the one who raised me. With my Grandmother. My grandma passed away a month ago.
I left my country because of the political torture. I didn’t want to be a soldier for the rest of my life.
Eritrea is the North Korea of Africa… he rules by fear. We die to get to the west you know…number 2 most refugees after Syria…and yet nobody talks or knows about us. Nobody really cares… People die in the Sahara, drowning in the Mediterranean, shot by the government, hijacked by smugglers, harvesting our organs in Sinai (the border of Egypt and Isreal).
You can Google or Youtube it…it’s so sad what we go through…
Eritrean Refugees, we gamble with out lives to get here…and we all have one thing in common…we all want to go back home.
Home is where the heart it!
Sorry for depressing you, but I gotta say it, for those who didn’t make it, you know.
I lost my girlfriend in Lampadusa on October 3rd 2013 when she tried to cross into Europe. She was among 350+ people who died.
So sorry for these depressing stories but I feel I have the obligation to talk for those who can’t and aren’t with us anymore.”
I asked him if he wanted me to share his story. He told me,
“Yes…people need to hear it. People need to know.”
I told him his story reminded me of my own little brother’s (also from Eritrea) and that I wanted to make a film about his life.
He shared with me the picture below and told me to watch this documentary for research.
In 2015, the largest number of asylum applications to the UK came from Eritreans, (3,695), more than from Iran (3,242), Sudan (2,912) and Syria (2,539).
The least we can do for the people of Eritrea is to know. To learn. To be aware and to spread that knowledge.
Please SHARE. Read. Watch. Understand. Educate It’s important