I was thrown out by my partner since  4 years in a foreign country (Germany) without money. I managed to make it to Riace in Italy on pure will power but now I need some help to get back on my feet.

My partner and I lived a spartan life on social help during most of our time together. She was taking care of our son and I could not do much to help due to health problems. As a result, all my clothes and belongings are in a pretty sad state and need repairs/replacement. I carry a barely working ancient Nokia phone and have no computer, and thus no way to connect to the outside world without helpful strangers.

I spent several days sleeping outside with no food on my way here, which was very humbling but nothing I feel like doing again. Since I lost my passport and had to get a temporary one in Munich, I will eventually have to make a trip to Rome to get my papers in order. It is sort of a mess, but I am taking one day at a time. There is just so much we take for granted in our comfortable western lives, a roof, a warm bed, food, a way to stay clean and wash clothes etc.

I'm writing a book about my struggles in the hope that it will help others and raise awareness about the complete lack of protection and support offered once you stumble or step out of line. Sharing my story with imaginary future readers was the only way for me to stay sane during my darkest moments.

I spent 25 years studying and teaching Ving Tsun Kung Fu, Yoga and Meditation. Riace has a long tradition of people helping each other, much thanks to its former mayor Domenico Lucano. One idea I am working on is creating a combined school/ashram/shelter funded by donations where everyone is welcome to participate, no questions asked. A place where it is always possible to get a proper meal surrounded by friendly faces, a warm bed to sleep in and help to build strength and find a way.

Thank you!

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Andreas Nilsson 
Siderno Superiore, Italy
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