Ladies and gentlemen, gather round! Today we have a story that’ll make you think twice before packing your bags and hopping on a boat to the UK! Our young protagonist, Florjan Dibra, was on the hunt for greener pastures when he left his home country of Albania to seek fortune in the United Kingdom. But little did he know, his journey would be filled with terror and sadness.
Florjan, a 15-year-old schoolboy, informed his parents that he was going on a short holiday abroad, but instead, he secured an EU Visa and made his way to Belgium to embark on a treacherous journey across the English Channel, all in hopes of joining one of the UK’s thriving Albanian communities and becoming a car mechanic. Unfortunately, what he found was nothing short of misery and loneliness.
According to reports, journalists discovered Florjan’s name on Albanian police files, with authorities suspecting his family deliberately sent him abroad to earn cash. And it turns out, he’s not alone. Florjan’s family claims that “99 percent” of Albanian teens who leave the country do so in search of a better life promised by “traffickers”. But now, Florjan is warning his fellow countrymen not to make the same mistake.
After arriving in the UK via a crammed dinghy from Dunkirk, Florjan told the police he wasn’t claiming asylum and just wanted a proper education and a way to earn money that’s impossible in Albania. However, after being processed by British authorities, he found himself in a foster home but escaped with unnamed family members after feeling overwhelmed at school.
Barely speaking a word of English, Florjan primarily communicated via Google Translate. His father, Sulejman, expressed his fear of returning to Somerset, where his son was living with a foster family, due to the loneliness and Florjan’s unwillingness to return to school where he knew no one.
So, folks, there you have it. A cautionary tale for anyone thinking of making the journey to the UK. It may not be the paradise you’re seeking, and you might end up feeling more scared and sad than ever before.