Spain – The crisis of Unaccompanied Minors, Said: “I arrived here alone and I hope to learn so I can become a cook in my country”

14 January 2019

(ANS – Madrid) – Said and Moha, young migrants who arrived in Spain while still minors, on boats,  were taken in at a “reception apartment” now that they have come of age, and where they still live with other youth. They are studying and working thanks to a program called “Casa Garelli” or “Garelli House”.

The Centre for minors at Hortaleza is on the point of collapse and the central government does not foresee new finances being available for maintaining the “Foreign Unaccompanied Minors” whom the Autonomous Community of Madrid should be putting up there. Many of these young people have arrived in the Spanish capital after going through dire and unusual circumstances; and yet, a number of the communities chosen to put them up have refused to do so.

In the midst of this “Crisis of Unaccompanied Minors” are stories that enable us to see that these young people too can have a future when they come of age and that a way out of their predicament is possible with commitment and work. Among others, these stories bear the names of Said and Mohamed or “Moha”. Both are now twenty-year-olds living in Madrid, having migrated from their countries of origin in search of a future.

Said, an Algerian, is the second of four brothers, and decided to embark on a voyage to the unknown when still a minor. He had a clear goal: seeking a future. “There are many fewer opportunities in my country than here”, he says.

Moha left his mother and two brothers in the Ivory Coast. “I left my country for a very clear and powerful objective: to be able to help my family and pursue a better future.”

Moha landed on the Cadiz coast, at Tarifa, and ended up in the Centre for First Reception at Hortaleza. After a while they went in different directions: Said to the public centre at Manzanares, and Moha to another called “Paideia”.

Once they came of age they left the minors centres and joined the Community Program aiming to offer continuity to boys like Said and Moha, in order to guarantee a future for them.

Currently, as part of the Community Program, they have joined a program called “Casa Garelli” (Garelli House) which depends on the Pinardi Federation, associated with the Salesians. They live with another six young men in the Madrid suburb of Carabanchel, in a house placed at the disposition of the Federation and supervised by some social welfare educators.

“Near the fence surrounding the Spanish enclave of Melilla, in the forests, there are almost 15,000 people, and many young people waiting for the opportunity to jump across so they can have a better life” Moha concludes.

Source: La Razón


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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