“My journey started by traveling to Turkey, where I stayed for less than a month. I then paid a smuggler to get me across to Greece by boat, in a very dangerous journey. From Greece I went to Bulgaria and then crossed to Austria, all in one week, often walking in the cold with heavy backpacks on my shoulders. We continued walking to finally reach Germany.”
“After spending US$6,500 and a journey of about one month, on 1 January 2016 I arrived to Germany, a place where I thought I wanted to live for the rest of my life. I stayed in a camp, and I was getting ready to start a new life, having to learn everything from scratch. I applied for asylum, I joined learning language courses and after few months I got my certificate. I applied for a job through the job centre and I was on the waiting list for asylum.”
“After about five months and two hearings, I learned that my application had been rejected”
“Of course I could have recruited a lawyer to appeal the case but that required even more money and by that time I missed my family and my mum was calling me everyday asking me go back home. I was 27 years old at that time and I wanted to think about my life. At my age everyone has a family, a job, a life.”
“I decided to go back despite the good treatment that I had received in Germany, so I applied for voluntary return. Just before I left authorities still wanted to make sure that this was a voluntary decision, and they asked whether there was anything they could help me with. They were very kind to me."