Saif and I met for the first time in early September. He was the youngest among a group of people from Pakistan. We tried to convince him to spend the night in a shelter, where it was supposed to be easier for him to get registered (editor’s note: in truth, registration never happened there, but in very few cases).
He was very uncertain about whether he should stay with his group or follow our advice. He didn’t know if he could trust us. After various talks and reconfirmations, he decided to go to the shelter. While I saw him walking away with a group of volunteers, full of uncertainty, he constantly turned his head around looking back at the group of friends he was leaving behind. I knew he was questioning his decision.
It made me realize how hard it is, to find your way in a foreign country, where you don’t know anybody you can truly trust, don’t speak the language and all you constantly hear are rumours about the way people like you are being treated. Gaining trust in an environment like that is a challenge.
I met Saif again a few weeks later taking this photo. He was much more relaxed and felt more confident and happy. It seemed he had learned to trust again.