17 years old, Cameroon

“I do not know my father, he died in 2002. I have one brother and my mother had two other children from another man. I consider them as my little brother and sister. We lived in the Region du Littoral in Cameroon. My mother was prostituting herself to be able to feed us and she died in 2008 from AIDS. After her death, my siblings and I decided to go back to my father’s village to stay with our family but they rejected us because they were afraid we were sick too. We had to go back where we lived, in the Region du Littoral, and a friend of my mother took care of us. She was pregnant and she only had one daughter. She wanted to give birth in another village so we went with her, except my older brother. Once there, two weeks later, the rebels came. They surrounded our village and kidnapped us. They took more than half of the village, about 50 people. I heard the army arrived but it was too late so they burnt our village. 

We were sent to Nigeria, next to the border. They raped all the women that were kidnapped. I saw my little sister and my little brother being raped. They told us they will get us free if I finish some work I had to do for them. Together with three other people, we were put in a car and we arrived in Maradi, Niger. It was a small village and we had to make bricks to build house during four months. After that, they put us in another car with thirty people from different African countries. They said we will go back home and we drove for four days and a half. 

All I want is to be with them. Will I be put in jail in Europe? Will I be tortured again?  God bless you and God bless Europe.

When we arrived, they locked me in a house with other people from different nationalities. They were frightening us to call our families and ask for money. Many people could pay and managed to leave. But who was I supposed to call? I lost my family and I do not have any phone numbers in mind. I spent two months in Saba and then I was sent to Tripoli. They put me in jail and I could only go out to do some work for them. I spent many months there. After that, I was sent to Zaouia. It was the same, I could only leave the prison to work. I was a real business. I needed to give them 3 medina (about 400,000 CFA) to get free.  

I spent seven months there and then I was sold to another place. We were 1000 persons in this place, which was like a prison. They gave us dry bread for food once a day for lunch and we were drinking some water spread on the floor. We could not take any shower. It was also impossible to leave this horrible place. If you try to escape, they simply shoot you. If a baby was crying, they would put some fuel on his sex and burn it. Same for your ears and your hair. I fell sick there and I woke up one day in one of their ‘medical centres’. I had no idea where I was. The owner of the prison offered me to work at his place. I accepted because I did not want to go back to this prison. There, I found two other people from Cameroon, Charlotte and Denis. We were working on construction sites. Sometimes we had to repair some boats and paint them again. We saw convoys of people being prepared for a journey in front of us. One day when I was working on the construction site, the owner came to me and told me to follow him. I ended up in one of his boats in the middle of the day. He pushed me inside. I have never planned to cross the sea and I have never planned to go to Europe. I did not have the choice. I never had any choices in my entire life. People have always chosen for me.

I do not know if one day I will be able to see my brothers and my sister. I miss them so much. All I want is to be with them. Will I be put in jail in Europe? Will I be tortured again?  God bless you and God bless Europe. Please, share what happened to me. I do not want anyone to suffer like I did.”