I did not take photos as we sat having afternoon orange juice then coffee in the apartment of a newly gained asylum seeker from Sudan in Montauban.
Sitting with three young men from Africa, one from Somalia, one from Uganda and one from Sudan I could not hold back the tears as we talked about another young friend from Chad who two days ago tried for the second time to commit suicide. He has survived... just, but as his friend said " he has just witnessed too many family dead, his brother killed in front of his eyes, metres away, he just cannot get these images from his head. He wants peace and as he was taken off in the ambulance sent his apologies to anyone who knew him.
Malc and I both visibly moved tried to get the mood more up beat.
My message HOPE
Without hope that things are going to improve for these young men I could not go on and I think these boys need hope more than anything now.
With tissue wiping eyes " I said now we must stop"
You are safe here and that is the positive, now you must search your dream. The 20 year old from Somalia, a very intelligent young man wants to be a humanitarian lawyer, his dream. He must work towards that now. He can do it, he really can.
Another's dream to have his own business mending cars, lorries and agricultural machinery can be achieved.
Our young friend Malik from Sudan was despondant. He wants to finish his University course but he needs to earn some money to continue. Jobs are scarce and now he speaks French he understands when people say horrid things about black refugees. In some ways he felt better when he could not understand these comments.
The mood changed when I started talking about dancing, Africans love to dance and girls.... they cheered up when they told me about girls they had danced with.
Be thankful for the life you have had friends.
Malc and I know how lucky we have been. You may not want to be as involved as Malc and I but your support, your donations monetary and useful items are so gratefully received.