“Being a refugee is very hard”

The title of this post may seem obvious to everyone who reads it. But when you hear that directly from a refugee from Kosovo trying to survive in 21st century Macedonia it makes you tremble.

Last weekend I have been visiting some friends in Skopje. One of them (another EVS volunteer) told me she knew a refugee from Kosovo and she told me we could meet him and interview him. He lives in Shutka, the first town in the world governed by Roma. After a short trip by bus and a quick visit to the local market we met him. It turned out he was a very interesting, talkative guy who was not shy or afraid to talk about his situation.

He (let’s name him K. from this point) told us he has been rejected in the three judicial stages as a refugee so he is now an illegal alien in Macedonia. The Court said that the situation in Kosovo has improved and that his life and the one of his relatives are not in danger so they cannot get the status of refugees anymore. K told us quite a different view: Even when the situation has improved, it is still not safe for him or his relatives to go back to where they lived because they could be in danger and, furthermore, they lost their houses and all their posesions when they left. Now, he and his family are under the protection of the UNHCR but they cannot get a job, study, or travel somewhere else. K is a very polite person, speaks 4 different languages, play the piano and he is interested in Computer Sciences but his future is as uncertain as his present. He dreams with going to Switzerland to study but the chances to do it depend not on his decision but on someone else.We wish him all the best. Keep in touch and good luck!

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