Journey of Ali

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Ali was a happy child living in Sierra Leone with his family. His father was a politician, member of opposition party of the country. Ali just knew that  father was a “busy man”. However, sometimes he could play basketball with Ali. It was Ali’s favorite activity. Most of the time he was spending with his mother and two young sisters, they were even accompanying him during his walks to the academy. He loved weekends because he had more free time to spend with his friends, experiencing different adventures.

Once, Ali was playing basketball in his yard, when policemen invaded in the house and took his father away. He did not understand anything just caught the words: “political prisoner”. After, some men started coming in his house forcing Ali’s family to leave it, he understood that all this was related to the job of his father but could not understand why did they experiencing all the troubles.

From time to time, Ali went to play basketball. One day, when he was returning, he saw that his house was on fire, he ran around to look for his family, but he could not find them… Suddenly, somebody caught him, it was Mr. Ahmed, a friend of his father.  He took Ali, put him in the car and said: “You are alone now, but you are safe. Soon you will be surrounded by people, who will share your journey”.

After a long trip Ali arrived to Georgia. He has not heard about this country before. It did not look like his hometown and there were no his relatives. Ali was confused, just wanted to be at home and safe. He was taken from the boarder to different buildings, people were talking to him, asking diverse questions, were looking at him with suspicion, deciding to leave him or not… At the end he has been taken in the refugee’s shelter of Martkopi.  After some time, when his past was clear for the strangers, he was transferred in the Small Group House of Caritas Georgia. It was a warm place with several children and grown-ups, with whom he was talking, studying, painting and doing different interesting activities. But the most favorite one was still basketball. At first, everything was very strange for him: the language, people, environment, even dances were so different… After some time, he calmed down and could sleep well. Ali had already got people with whom he could share his journey.

In 2015 Ali became 18 years old, he left his previous place and went to live in “Youth House” of Caritas Georgia. Because of the problems with documents, he could not be involved in the educational system of Georgia. However, he actively receives education in the Caritas Georgia Day Care Centers. Ali is hardworking, punctual and purposeful boy. He continues studying, and is going to apply for the high educational institution. Ali’s life has changed, but his love towards basketball has not.

Note: the names in the story are changed to protect identity.