*Abshir, 17, is a refugee child from Mogadishu, Somalia. He fled his country two years ago escaping from conflict and violence. ‘I left Somalia to Yemen by boat; we were at least 91 people in the same boat. From Sudan to Libya I took a truck full of people fleeing like me. I remember how some of them even drunk their own urines to survive a six-days journey through the Sahara Desert until the border with Libya.”
Abshir stayed four months in a detention center in the town of Al Kufra where the Libyan authorities rarely opened the windows of the center to provide food and water.
“After four months in the center, I paid around 2000 USD to arrive in Tripoli to take a boat to Italy. But the engine of the boat had a problem just a few kilometers from the Italian coast. It was awful. When I was in the boat, I saw my future through the lights of the Italian coast. I was so close. I believe our destinies are written, but I don’t know where.”
Abshir stayed two months in another detention center in Tripoli where UNHCR organized his evacuation to Niger with other children and asylum seekers. “When I talk to my mom in the phone, she says I’ve changed since I left Somalia.”
In the transition center, he shares his razor with other children . He often cuts their hair and they improvise new haircuts. “ like this hair machine, is part of my memories already. With it, we can change our hairstyle and we have good times despite the hard times we are going through” he says.
Names of individuals have been changed in order to protect their right to privacy.