Camara (20) fled his home country of Guinea in 2012. Camara has a high school diploma and was a football player and painter. After the death of his father, due to the lack of stability and job opportunities in Guinea, Camara left for Morocco. In Morocco, he met is now wife Emilie (18), a skilled cook and embroiderer, and her two children (pictured).
Emilie: “I was married and lived with my husband in Cote D’ivoire. I had my baby boy Soloman with him in 2007. In 2011, the civil war started in Cote D’ivoire and the rebels came, indiscriminately assaulting and killing people in the town where I lived. We fled into Togo and they put us in a camp there. Anytime they found out they were people from one part of the country or another, they would come and take away the women to be sexually assaulted and the men to be killed. They took me and my husband. He was killed. I became pregnant and birthed my daughter Kiki in the camp. I was afraid for my children’s lives so we fled to Mali, Algeria, and then Morocco.”
After requesting asylum in Togo and Morocco, and being denied refugee status over a span of three years, Camara and Emilie decided to take advice from a friend in seeking professional and educational opportunity in Turkey. They obtained visas, plane tickets and arranged for their friend to meet them in the airport in Turkey when they landed, but upon arrival, their friend didn’t show and they remained in the airport, not knowing anyone and having no where to stay. Finally, they met a man from Cote D’Ivoire who hosted them in his house for a couple of days. Camara was then introduced to a Congolese man who offered them housing, though unfortunately it was a scam and the man took over 200 USD from the family and disappeared.
Now one month after arrival in Turkey, Camara and Emilie have one month’s worth of food and water, and the electricity to their temporary studio was just cut off from lack of payment Additionally, they are seeking help with translation and notarization for their immigration papers. Without knowing Turkish, finding a job and getting the children in school has been challenging. They both want to learn Turkish and English as soon as possible and find work. Salomon and Kiki said they love to draw, paint and listen to music.