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Beyene Goitom

I am twenty six years old from Eritrea. I have two sisters and a brother; we worked together on a military base as painters. We only earned twenty dollars a month, which is not enough to live on. We were never respected and were treated like animals by the army. I decided to leave to make more money and send it to my family so that they would no longer need to work for the military. I traveled to Sudan and then Libya, where I was thrown in jail for being an illegal immigrant. After a year in prison, I got out and took a boat to Italy. It took two days to get from one side of Italy to the other. When I arrived, I was only in Italy for about ten days before I left for Switzerland. I entered Switzerland seeking asylum but after a year and a half, I was declined. Somehow, I managed to stay in the country another year and a half before leaving for Holland. Shortly after making it to Holland, I was sent back to Switzerland but instead, I found my way to France. I had been on the streets of Paris for a month, then everyone on the streets were rounded up by the police and brought into the camp. I like that I have food to eat and a roof over my head, I just wish I could help my family like I set out to do.