‘Entering the Unknown’ by Anais Bridgeman, Age 14

Many dream of one day crossing over the border, immigrating into a new life, : for most it remains that way. Nothing more than a fantasy, an illusion.  What is it that is so sensational over the border that is worth wasting your thoughts on?

Nobody should aspire to discover what is over the border when it is in fact something truly horrific. I don’t ever want to find myself in a position where I’m crossing over the border. There is nothing but the unknown. It is the window between what you know and a whole new world run by strangers, where you’re shut away from society and kept away for however long with a chance of being dragged back to the land of emptiness after release, just as life feels as if it’s transformed into something resembling normal. This is the reality of detention centres and the difference between these worlds is a treacherous journey that will push you to your limits and you may not see it through to the end. Is it really worth it? Risking your life, leaving everything behind. Your life may be bad and bad is an understatement believe me I am aware, but which is worse? Does it really get better on the other side? You hope to be crossing the border between hell and heaven but rather than opening a fresh new door to be greeted by your saviour, you’re simply crossing through an archway where the evil spills through.

I for one will never know the answer. Crossing over the border is an entirely unimaginable thing and I can not even begin to picture the feeling of it. Anyone who has not experienced this, count yourself lucky and if you think you know what it’s like…you don’t. We can only listen to the voices of the people who have experienced it and base our views off of them without ever knowing what it honestly feels like with any accuracy to the real thing. I hope to one day have the courage and dedication of these people. The strength and the commitment.