Still, I beg you. DEEPLY beg you. PLEASE read and respond!
Our history has EVERYTHING to do with love.
For context, likely you should also know that I am an American woman married to a Swedish man and we have lived in an idylic Swedish small village for the last ten years.
Currently we have SIX Afgahnst teenage male refugees
living with us.
I would be so happy to share photos of them, except that any photo would likely put them in danger for their lives.
All of us are living on my husband's and my extremely limited pensions.
This is how it happened.
Nearly four years ago, my husband and I became interested in a local gathering where the plights of young male teenagers fleeing from the threats against themselves personally and also against their families, caused them to leave everything known to them and flee towards the “west”, some of them eventually arriving in Sweden.
Why, you ask (at least I ask) not young female teenagers?
Because the risks for them to flee remain so very much higher than for young males.
In any case, my husband and I became determined to welcome any of these young men into our home as soon as possible.
We were the first to welcome three young men.
For the first with a two hours "warning", the next with an evenings warning and the last with a one day warning.
At the beginning, we received financial support for their precence in our family.
We were able to take them on a ski vacation where they encounterd snow for the first time in their lives.
Each evening they returned to our cabin elated and exhausted.
However, as soon as Swedish Immigration decided that they were 18 years old (despite EVERY evidence to the contrary), they became suddently "adult" by Swedish law, and were no longer entitled to financial support of any kind.
I am pouring out my heart to you.
For the last two years we have had four teenaged male refugees from Afghanistan living with us.
We love them with all our hearts and do our best to provide them with a profoundly safe environment.
We give them every encouragement to invite their friends home for dinner or to stay for an entire weekend. Naturally, we also buy the groceries.
We do this because it has become obvious to us that a great part of their healing (whether they live with us or not) is their dependance on contact with each other.
Every day they are hugged by both my husband and myself. They are told that they are loved.
Personally, I always note if they have a new haircut or new hairstyle. I affirm that this haircut or hairstyle looks really good.
I do whatever is possible to increase their self-esteem.
My husband is the REAL hero!
He struggles DAILY throughout the working week with Swedish Immigration and their policy that returning these young men to Afghanistan is perfectly safe for them. Despite every evidence to the contrary!
At this point in time, he is better informed than any other person with whom he makes contact — including these young men’s lawyers, who quite often take on these cases for their own financial gains.
Believe me, I am not being cynical.
Still, even when a lawyer is dedicated to justice, they simply do not possess the knowledge which Hans has gained through painstaking reseach and experience.
Each of our young men has suffered in ways that no child should ever experience.
Two of them were hunted by ISIS to force them into their army. One of them was hunted and threatened because his father had converted to Christianity -- and was murdered because of this. The last one of them was present when his older brother, a policeman, was murdered.
You must easily imagine how damaged their well-being is by their horror, survival guilt, their fears for the safety of the rest of their families and the fact that they do not even know WHERE their families now are.
None of them had any form of identification when they arrived in Sweden. We have been able to pay 3,000 crowns each to friends of two of them, who put themselves in personal danger to procure what is known as a “National Identity Card” from the cities where these two were born. With these we hope to be able to order Ahghanst passports for them.
Just possibly these passports may convince Swedish Immigration of our young one’s actual ages and therefore they will be permitted to remain since they would be considered “children”.
This is not possible for the other two because neither of them has any possibility of acquiring such documents.
In addition, all of them are “Hasari”, a type of Muslim decended from Mongolian Muslims. The Hasari have been reviled and persecuted for centuries. They are easily identified by their clear Mongolian physical traits.
Much worse and completely horrific, three of them have acknowledged to being subjected to the wide-spread “tradition” called “bacha bazi”. This is the practice of stealing or buying young boys (YES! I am writing of slavery), to become the innocent sounding term of “dancing boys”. ...and in fact, they do dance. Dressed as young girls, they are taught to erotically dance before an audience of adult males.
Then they are repeatedly raped.
These days our young men act as if they are brothers, occasionally fighting but mostly laughing with each other.
Although they have no income to support our household, they support us in many other ways.
Every weekend they work together to clean our home from top to bottom. (They began doing this on their own initiative. Neither my husbad nor I had ever considered that they do this!) They frequently prepare their own meals and clean up the kitchen. They also do their own laundry.
Initially we took out a HUGE loan, two hundred thousand Swedish crowns, to help us to support them. But since we are so old, we are required to pay nearly 5000 Swedish crowns every month to pay back this loan.
We took out this loan in the belief that we would recieve financial support from Swedish Immigration.
Since Swedish Immigration continues to insist that each of them is an adult, they maintain that they are not eligible for financial support of any kind. Nor are we.
In addition, the rent for our three bedroom apartment is 11,000 crowns every month.
Groceries cost us, at a minimum, 5000 crowns every month.
We pay their legal fees. Just now we owe one attorney 7,500 crowns.
Recently we bought them winter clothing, including winter boots.
Right now we are not certain how we are going to pay our January rent.
Obviously, we will not be celebrating Christmas this year with presents or even a Christmas tree.
We WILL be celebrating with love.
The amount of money we are requesting represents approximately $3,500. U.S. and we need your financial support in order for us to continue taking care of our wonderful teenagers just for the next two months.
If you can find it in your hearts to contribute more, then we will be assured of their well-being perhaps as long as it takes for the Swedish Parliment to change laws for the support of these young people.
Our hearts will NEVER abandone these young men.
But our finances may abandone us.
Can you help?
As soon as possible!
May the God who holds you firmly in your faith support your decisions regarding our worth to receive your contributions.
...and if there is no god in your life, may the goodness of your hearts reach out to us.
We are, and will continue to be, grateful every second of our lives!
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