Wales

Fleeing Sudan: Wales 'feels like home' for teenager from Darfur

Idres
Image caption Idres was aged 15 when he left his home with just a small bag and travelled across Africa and Europe

"I remember being there. It's horrible. You can't even sleep or think of having a future."

It was four years ago that Idres, then 15, and without any immediate family, decided to leave Darfur in Sudan and travel across Africa and Europe.

He says he was determined to avoid being forced to join a militia after years of unrest and civil war.

Idres, now aged 19, says Wales now feels "like home" following his move to Rhondda Cynon Taff.

He is one of more than 1,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Wales.

"Anytime I talk about it, it brings back everything," said Idres.

"You can't just forget about everything like that easily.

"You're frightened of death. You can see death every day. It's a very dangerous place.

"I've seen a lot of people harmed and dead. It became normal.

"You can see it every day and everywhere. That's why I had to leave the country."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sudanese men and women celebrate outside the Friendship Hall in the capital Khartoum where generals and protest leaders signed a historic transitional constitution in August

Idres left his home with just a small bag.

"It was a horrible life and horrible journey. You can't even imagine it," he said.

"You had to sleep in the road. You had to eat everything, drink every water."

After a time in the "jungle" encampment near Calais, France, and a short period in Birmingham, Idres moved to south Wales

And although he lives alone, he is being helped day to day by a "trusted adult" and he is studying to be a railway engineer at college.

"You can feel at home in Wales," he added.

Beverley Humphreys, who provides practical and emotional support for Idres and two other young refugees, said: "I've learnt from them about the strength of the human spirit.

"I think to myself what I would have been like at 15 to put a bag on my back, and walked not knowing where I was going to end up and whether I was going to be safe."

This summer, a new government took office in Sudan as part of a three-year power-sharing agreement between the military, civilian representatives and protest groups.

Image caption Beverley Humphreys, who presents a show on BBC Radio Wales, supports Idres and two other young refugees

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