Friday June 7th.

Vito was born in the state of Delta, South-Nigeria in 1986. In the region of the Niger-Delta the existing conflicts between the various sections of the population, groups and tribes are further fuelled by the emerging war for oil.

During his youth the situation starts going from bad to worse. As a Christian he can only visit cities like Kanoun by risking his life.

Various acts of war happen in his near surroundings. When soldiers start closing in on his village, he, his younger sister and also his parents panic and take flight. During this chaotic process of trying to get to safety, his father is shot. Vito loses contact with his mother and sister and never sees them again.

Vito makes a small pause during this interview, his stoical and serious face from before suddenly shows exertion to maintain his composure. I guess he is fighting back tears. Picking up his story, Vito continues with his arrival in the city of Lagos.

Feeling completely exhausted the worst is still awaiting him and his fellow refugees. Nobody feels responsible or in the need to help them. There is no supporting system on behalf of the state and also no active help-organisations in this region. He is near to starvation, becomes ill and suffers from extreme weight-loss. There is no clean water. In his despair he prays for help and begs passers-by for money.

Finally a kind-hearted man called Joshua notices the situation which Vito and the others are in and offers his help. This good Samaritan takes care of Vito and his companions. He supplies them with food and water, helps them to organize further steps. Liberia seems to be the best bargain to Vito, concerning the possibility of an apprenticeship and work.

To get over the border into Liberia, they need the help of a smugglers, who demand a ransom some of money for their service. Joshua is willing and able to assist them with the needed money. After a very emotional and brotherly embrace they part and Vito gets aboard the smugglers lorry. His passport is taken off him.

To be continued