The border guards did not let me get on the boat because I did not have enough money. I tried again the day after, helped by someone I knew, and I managed to get on board. On 5 December I arrived in Bari and from there I went to Naples.

For the first few days I wandered around, sleeping on the street and looking for a job. After four days we started working as farmers, collecting rapeseed for an Albanian man. The ground was wet and the work was hard. We were staying in a shack: there were only a shower, a small gas cylinder for cooking and a bed made of wooden planks. I worked there for a few days just to save some money and then I left without saying anything to my father. He would not let me go. I booked a bus ticket to Florence. I did not know the city but I heard that it was easier to enter a community there and the economic situation was pretty good.

On 31 December 2018 I arrived in Florence, I got off at Villa Costanza and did not know where to go.

I asked for information in English on how to get to the center and I was told to buy a tram ticket and get off at Alamanni station. I got on the tram and arrived at Santa Maria Novella station.

When I got off I got stopped from a lady begging for money. I only had 20 euros in my pocket, so I gave her some food I had in my bag.

I entered the station looking for a policeman. I saw the military and I went to them. I showed them my passport telling I was a minor, because I knew that they could have helped me and sent me to a community. They told me to go to the police station and showed me the way. When I arrived, the police station was closed for public holiday and I went back to the tram station.

I looked for a place to eat and I found a "99 cents" shop and got some food.

From there I went to the Arno river, I spent some time there and when the night came, I went back to the station. I sat in the waiting room, right under a surveillance camera hoping it would be safer.

I fell asleep and at 1 or 2 am a person touched my feet and woke me up. I thought the military wanted to close the station but there was a weird person who told me: "Come with me, your parents are waiting for you outside".

I pretended not to understand and he told me: "Come and eat something with me". I did not accept and he tried to hug me, so I pushed him away and went inside to look for help. I ran into a ticket collector and I told him in English what had just happened. We went out together to look for that man but he was gone.

We talked for a while. He asked me many questions and if I was alone. I hoped he would take me to the police station but he just told me to go there the next day. The station got closed and I spent the night in front of it.

The next day I tried to go back to the police station but it was closed. I took the same path: I got some food, went to the river and back to the station to spend the night.

On 2 January I went back to the police station and they told me that they could not take responsibility and I should have moved to another place near Piazza Indipendenza.

I waited and finally the policemen interviewed me to find out how I got there.

Someone said: "This boy is really quiet" and I realized how tired I was.

They took me to Villa Carmen, they showed me the room and they introduced me to the others. I took a shower and I slept for 24 hours.

On 11 January I joined the Oxfam project.


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Project Number: 2018-1-IT02-KA201-048187 - Privacy Policy