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#Ourheroes – The story of Ramatulai


My name is Ramatulai and I am 17 years old from Siera Leone.

I arrived in Samos, Greece in September 2022. I stayed for two months in Samos camp and then they sent me here, in METAdrasi shelter. My life was good until a tragedy occurred and made me come here. I left my country with my aunt, but I finally arrived here alone. I am the only daughter of my mother and I didn’t fortunate to meet my father.

The situation at the camp was bad, but normal. I had a friend, from Mali, but she left. Now I have only the people of the shelter. The food is not good, the place is cold.. But here, in the shelter, is better. The food and the water is good, we have better clothes to wear, better beds to lay down. And we go to school. When I was in Siera Leone I used to go to school. The school here is more difficult because of the language. When I came here and started to go to school all classes were in Greek, I didn’t understand anything. So, I stepped back until I gained a level of knowledge of the language. The teacher of the shelter helps us a lot and now I understand the Greek language a bit.

My life here is good, we feel safe and protected. When we feel stressed, the people of the shelter speak to us, help us, they are good. Concerning stress, because of what happened to me, what I have experienced, I don’t feel free, but I feel safe. I don’t feel free because I cannot go back, I have lost everything, I don’t have my mother, the only person I have, I don’t even know if she is alive or dead. So, this is still in me, the stress is still in my body. I feel safe here, but my heart isn’t free.

I would like to become a doctor; I still have the hope and try to do my best. I don’t know what life will bring to me. When I turn 18, I must leave the shelter and I don’t have anybody. It’s only me. It’ so difficult, so difficult. Sometimes I think that everything has gone. Leaving without parents, at this age, in another country is very difficult and stressful. Nobody could do anything for me after I left the shelter.

I was thinking to move in a country where English is the formal language. All my life I was studying in English, the Greek language is very difficult and it needs much time. When I left home, I lost everything, even the school certificates, so I couldn’t approve all these years of studying. I had to start again the school, to continue my studies. And I have to move on, I have nobody to support me, I have only myself, so I think that being in an English-speaking country would be more advantageous for me. The asylum procedure is still on going, so I am waiting. Even if I don’t have to live here, I will have the right to live here. I cannot go back to Siera Leone, it is not safe for me and I don’t know what can happen to me.. I have nobody there, my grandparents chased me, I don’t know where my mother is.. so, I don’t know where I will manage to live. The only thing I know is that  I have to fight for myself and build a new life.

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