A couple of days ago I sat and listened as my little foster brother Mez retold his story to one of my best friends and film producer Jackie.
Mez left Eritrea to flee compulsory military service when he was 14. His brother and dad were already in the army which is basically life long slave labour.
Mez crossed the Sahara (with no food and hardly any water for 15 days), crossed the Mediterrannean (in an unsafe boat that capsized and he couldn’t swim), got rescued by the Italian coast guard, walked across Europe to the Calais Jungle and hid underneath the Eurotunnel train to make it to England… All before his 15th birthday.
That day that he arrived to the UK he was given a pair of too big flip flops and a bowl of porridge by Kent social services, then put in a taxi to my house. He arrived with his wet coat in a black bin bag….shy, skinny and speaking no English.
From that day on he was my little brother.