An All Too Common Story of Despair

Imagine this journey if you will. Start in Afghanistan where you hope and long for peace and safety. Leaving a bombed city and dead parents, you head for Europe, and with your family eventually make it to Turkey where you meet your first human smugglers who demand 1000 euro per person to travel in their small boat. It’s time to leave, and you are forced onto the boat by gunpoint, the atmosphere one of intense fear. It’s cold, and the water is freezing. Along the way the boat capsizes. You try to hold on to your children, but can only manage to rescue one, while two drown in front of you. It’s a five-hour swim to safety. You have no time to mourn. Along with your wife and surviving daughter, you eventually make it to land. Your documents are lost. The smugglers beat you up, rape your wife and daughter, and then abandon you. Shoeless, all three of you begin to walk as best you can, lost and without any hope, toward Tabanovce, and this is where you eventually meet us. With God’s help we will do what we can to help you.

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