Robert’s story

My name is Robert, i’m 16 years old and i’m from Conakry Guinea. I come from a family where we were 2 childrens with my little brother.
My father and mother divorced when i was in thrid years of high school.
My journey lasted around 3 month.
After my parent’s divorced, a women distroyed my life there : during my third years, she charged me to go and buy some medecine for her daughter.
While i was going ther , scammers came up to me and attacked me with a knife.

A grown up saved me and took me to the hospital, where i stayed two, three days. He took care of the all the cost and brought me back to yhe village then my mom and him decided that i would stay with him.
He asked about my situation, said that he will help us out, that we would go on a trip with him : we where four minors, with my friends, plus the adult, i don’t remember his name but he was very tall… He told me to accompany him because i liked playing football

The travel

We then went to someone’s house to get a car.
The next day, we left like that until we arrived i asked : ” Bro, we left Guinea, where are we going?”. He told me that we where in Mali.
I knew about it because when i was in sixth grade i had courses to learn about Africa and all…
We’d been there for a day and i asked again: “Bro, where are we going?” this time he said: “Somewhere…”
From Mali, we experienced a lot on the road: it took us two weeks to get to Algeria, and on the way met the Tuaregs? They took our phone, our goods clothes and shoes, everythings… They even beat us up.

Once in Algeria, we stayed two days, no more. Then we left for Tunisia and stayed a week…not even that because we were attacked by Arab: they assaulted Bro with a big knife.
That evening, Bro said that we couldn’t stay in Tunisia. He called one of his friend who took us to a village. When we arrived, he took us to an Arab who was in charge of getting people back to Europe.
We waited three days,as the sea wasn’t good, with a lot of waves. Then i said to Bro that i won’t be going on the pirogue… it was a small pirogue.
He tells me it’s nothing, that we’re leave so we can play football. Because i like playing football so much, that all i could think about because when you see the water you get scared, very very scared because the sea is so dangerous. i’ve trusted him since he helped me and paid the hospital bill.
He paid for my transport to Italy.
We spent two days on the sea, there was so many waves, i thought we we were goint to die.
But God is great.
The big boats came to save us and brought us to Lampedusa. When I arrived in Lampedusa, I was separated from Bro and everyone else, all my colleagues. I spent two weeks in Lampedusa and them only one, then they left for the big cities of Italy. When i’d done the two weeks, they took me to Genova, where I stayed for I don’t know how long. And a colleague there said “we are going to France”

Crossing the Franco-italian border

I didn’t want to come to France, the country i wanted to go to was Germany, but the Italian and German languages were very hard for me to understand and learn, so i accepted my friend’s proposal, because I manage a bit of French, it’s easier for me. If someone speaks to me in French, it’s easy to listen and understand, but speaking it’s a bit more complicated.
We all agreed, we were three to go. When we arrived at Genova station, we met two other people, got on the train together, and travelled to Ventimiglia, where we took a train to Menton.
Arriving in Menton, the police took us down and ask for our identity papers, we told them we were immigrants, they asked our age and took us somewhere on their base.

Beginning of care

After all that, the policemans took me and send me to a hotel in Nice. A day or two after, they send me pass the evaluation. Not even two week later i received the result : they told me that i was a minor, so i stayed there for another three week, then i was transferred to Marseille.
In Marseille, i was sent to the hospital, took my blood, and did everything to make sure I didn’t have any illnesses or else.
I also took a CASNAV test, to see what my level is, and i have a good level, so i’m going to go to a vocational high school.
I went to visit a home near La Pomme, i met a educator we talked, i don’t know what day i will be able to go.

Since my arrival in France, i have never been in the street, everything has gone well for me.

Misunderstanding about the minority test

When i was told that i was going to take the minority test, i asked a friend,– i call him the American, i met him at the hotel, we often talk together – because I thought that once they’d taken me in, that was it, I thought I’d come in and they’d register me on the computer and that was that…

A women called to tell me that i had to take the test, i said : “What test?” I didn’t know it was a minority test, i thought it was to ask me how i got here.
We start talking, i panicked, too much. Nobody told me anything.

Finally, after i finish the test, i went back to the hotel, i explain to the American, that i was asked how i got there, etc… He told me that it was good, that it was a test to see if i was a minor.
But when i found out it was a test to check if i was a minor, it was complicated, everything got mixed up, i didn’t sleep well, i didn’t do anything anymore , even getting up at 7 am to eat was impossible, i had headache, all i could think about was my problems.
Because i didn’t know anything but after a week a lady came knocking on my door and told me that i had it : i said to her : ” i’ve had what?”, and she said : ” you’ve been recognize as a minor”
Aaaaaaaaaaah! Since that day i’ve been very happy, peace has returned, my head was soothed, i asked her where i was going to leave and she told me Marseille.

I don’t have anyone in France, or even in Europe ; the Bro  i came with, i don’t even know where he is, even the colleagues i don’t know where they are.

A dream

My dream is to be a football player, be better than Mbappe. I can’t say i’ve go talent…but I think I’ve got a minimum of it. I like to do sport, abs, bodybuilding; so far I’ve never been to a gym, I do it in my bedroom, looking at exercise apps on my phone.

Places to do sport

I don’t know much about Marseille, the places I do know are : St. Charles, the Old Port, Estrangin, La Blancarde, which is my playground, where there’s a soccer stadium, Prado and Noailles.

Then there’s a place in Marseille that I like: a big garden where people go to do sport, running, I don’t remember what it’s called… it’s behind the Hôtel Sévigné (editor’s note: it’s the Parc Pierre Puget).