When you're ten years old you should be kicking a football with your friends, enjoying the comfort of a meal with your extended family, sleeping in a warm, dry bed. You should be going to school to learn to be a teacher, or a doctor, a peace keeper, a librarian, an archeologist, an astronaut. You shouldn't be fleeing to stay alive. Ten year old children should not need to run from bad men. They should be able to grow up in their homeland, free of war and hatred. Surrounded by love.
Yet many don't.
These are the soles of the shoes of Achmed. He is ten years old. He made his way from Fallujah, Iraq to Turkey with his family ... on foot!! A boat to Greece then an over ten day trek through eastern Europe. From Macedonia to Serbia where it was freezing cold and there was no food for days on end. Onto Croatia, then Austria where buses gave a ride and broke the journey to spare his tired body and broken shoes from another day or 2 of walking. Finally, he arrived in the most welcoming of all European countries when a Train of Hope from Germany brought him from Passau to Cologne. He then made his way to Finland where we hope he and his family have found a welcome and safe haven.