A boy who never lost his trust in Humanity
„Too much crying in the mountain."
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Too much crying in the mountain. “These are the words Ali used to start telling this story to legal guardian.
Somewhere close to Iran, on some mountain, in the middle of the night, 15-year-old Ali was alone, crying and praying to God to save him. At dawn he saw a man on a horse with a long beard, he looked like a thief. Ali said he stopped crying from the fear but man asked him: „You need help? “, Ali answered „No. “, but man heard him crying and said that he can trust him, he wanted to help him, but Ali was scared and said no. Than man asked him, „Are you a Muslim? “, Ali said „Yes. “. – „Then come, I'll show you where your friends are. “. He started walking and Ali followed him. After a while he saw his friends. He said to unknown man „Thank you, may God help you always like you helped me. “
*Ali is born in Pakistan; he will be 18 soon. He is a minor without company in camp Borici, and two years he has been in camps in Bihac. His journey started with a first illegal attempt to cross the border to go in Iran. He was with a group of people in the mountains and police came. While they were running, he lost his friend and found himself alone in the mountain.
After Iran he went to Turkey. He said that he doesn’t have good memories from Turkey and saw a lot of bad things that he just wants to forget.
Greece is another story. He reunited with his brother and uncle. Uncle is 35 years old and he has big influence on him. He has a wife and three kids in Pakistan. Ali stayed in Greece for three months and he worked for a man who had factory for production of olive oil. He was happy there. But after three months his uncle said to him: „Europe can give you better life! “. That’s why Ali decided to start his journey once again.
In Serbia Ali stayed only for few days. Two years ago, he came to Bosnia and he was a beneficiary of the Bira camp in Bihać, which got closed by local government and now Ali is accommodated in family camp Borici with other 30 unaccompanied children. When his uncle came to Bosnia in his first attempt to cross a border and go to Italy, he succeeded but Ali stayed. He tried 26 time to cross the border and go to Croatia, and from there to Italy. Even with that many unsuccessful attempts to cross the border and all difficulties he faced, this boy always has a smile on this face and kind words for other people. He said that, on his last attempt when he tried to cross the border, Slovenian police even recognized him. Italy is his dream and he want to be reunited with his uncle.
He always talks about his mother and father as well, but he said that he can’t share with them everything, especially bad things and what he saw on this journey because they would tell him to come back to Pakistan. That’s why he is so close with his uncle. He always had a good advice for him. „With bad things, comes bad life! “those are the words uncle told him that Ali has always in his mind.
After two year in Bosnia, Ali said that Bosnian people are very kind. When he was deported from Slovenian police without anything, one man from Velika Kladusa helped and talked very kindly with him. He has huge respect for people here.
One of the CWS legal guardians met Ali on Lipa, which was the camp for single man. He was deported by Croatian police and Bosnian police escorted him to Lipa two times. She was amazed by the spirit and polite behaviour of this boy. He was exhausted and with blisters on both legs. He said when he was deported that he walked alone all day. He didn’t eat for two days so adult men on Lipa gave him food from community kitchen and helped him with shoes and clothes. Legal guardians could offer unaccompanied children safe place in CWS container until accommodation is found and transport organized.
In the camp Ali use his good spirit to make everybody happy. We organized with him Karaoke every week. He likes to sing and make everybody dance. He teaches others also to sing Urdu songs and enjoys when staff is singing with him. Under this good and happy spirit legal guardians knew from his stories that he has a lot of bad memories. Every time he returned from “the game” he came with memories that he wants to forget. Legal guardian referred him to psychologist so he can talk about his experience and learn how to deal with emotions. He has a big need to talk with legal guardians every time they were in the camp. So CWS team provided him support via long talks about the present situation, risks and the future.
Ali had huge respect for everything CWS did there for him. He said that he wants to do similar job. He wants to help people, because he can’t forget what we did for him. He remembers how guardian spent two hours on the phone to secure him accommodation in the camp for unaccompanied children. Because he is turning 18 soon, he said „I will miss guardians, because you always listen and help, and I know when you are adult you don't have guardian. I respect you a lot.” Ali’s childhood stopped earlier than he wanted, but he become a good person with noble dreams, living for a day to see Italy and better future.
The support provided to Church World Service is part of the wider support, for the project/intervention “EU special measures to Support the Response to the Refugee and Migrant Situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)” in partnership with UNICEF BIH and funded by the EU, and helps all unaccompanied children like Ali to find comfort in situations when they need it the most, making sure they are protected while they are in Bosnia and Herzegovina and have all support they need.