Yousof’s Story

My name is Yousof and I’m 10 years old. Three years ago my Mum, my three brothers, my Aunty and her four children and I escaped our country. My Mum and Aunty didn’t want us kids to be taken by IS or any of the other extremist groups. They wanted us to have a safe life. They wanted to take us to be with our two other aunties and our grandmother who live in Australia and have been Australian Citizens for many years now. My grandma wants to help look after us.

We arrived at Christmas Island on 25 July 2013 when I was just 7. Australian Immigration gave our boat a name: LEL809 and when we got off the boat each person got given a number. My boat ID is LEL066. From then on that’s what I am called by everyone who works for Immigration.

At Christmas Island a man came and told us what would happen to us. He chose some families to go to Australia and he chose some men who had come by themselves to go to Australia. The other men who were alone he sent to Manus. My family and my Aunt and her family and one more family he chose to go to Nauru. We weren’t told why he picked us for Nauru. We still haven’t been told why.

I’ve been on Nauru for three birthdays now. There is nothing to do here. The ground is all stones. We lived in a mouldy tent in the detention camp until we were given refugee status. Then we were moved to Ijuw Lodge where my mum, my three older brothers and I live together in a unit that has a combined living/kitchen/bedroom and a combined bathroom/toilet/laundry. I don’t go to school because it is too dangerous. The Nauruan kids bully the refugee kids. They bring knives to school.

My Mum is really sick now. They think she has breast cancer. She needs proper treatment but they don’t give it to her here and the hospital is very dirty. My Mum cries all the time. She is very, very tired and sad. I don’t know why we can’t come to Australia to stay with our Grandma. She wants to look after all of us.


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