Imagine being 17 years old and already having experienced the death of your father and brother…
Your country is in the midst of war. A war that took your loved ones away…
Now you are faced with the traumatic decision to risk your own life staying in your country, or risk your life making the journey to safety.
You decide to leave, in the hope of a safe future..
You make it to neighbouring Lebanon, where life is not much better. You are desperate to continue your journey but you need money to pay the smugglers to help you across the next border. You don’t have any and you are not allowed to work in Lebanon…
So what do you do? Do you give up now?
You’re strong and brave, hopeful and clever. You know this can’t be the end, but you see no way out…
Then one day you do…
A man approaches you with a potential opportunity to make some money.
A lot of money.
£6500 to be exact.
He tells you all he will take from you in return, is something that you don’t really need anyway…
He promises you can live with one.
Your current life is not worth living anyway, even with two kidneys…so you agree.
You are super scared, but you see no other option.
The night for the operation comes and you are taken, blindfolded by a bandage, to a small room in a dark house.
You wake up in excruciating pain.
For a week you stay in this house, alternating between lying and sitting on a dusty sofa, in an attempt to get some respite from the pain. You feel groggy from the painkillers, unsure what is going on around you, but sure that this is the worst pain you have ever felt.
After a week a man comes to pull out your stitches. You have never felt pain like it. They tell you you are free to go, you hobble outside, sunlight touching your face for the first time in a week.
You find your way back to your makeshift home in Beirut. The money disappears instantly on rent and the debt you have accumulated since leaving Syria.
The pain isn’t getting better.
This is a reality for an increasing amount of Syrians as they are left unable to work and struggling to survive once leaving their country.