This is a story about a family: two brothers; Daniel 17 and Afherom 10 and two sisters; Merkedes 18 and Marta 13. They have lost their parents and are travelling from their home in Eritrea to Europe.
The journey starts in December and the family have already made their journey to Sudan
This is where our story begins….
Eritrea has very good weather and it is sunny but in December and it is cold. The sun is out but the night is chilly. White clouds move in the sky. The ground is dry with lots of rocks and stones.
The scene starts in the morning at a camp in Sudan.
Sounds of banging pots and spoons as Merkedes is cooking a breakfast of beans.
Ahferom wakes up and is yawning.
Ahferom: “Good morning”
Merkedes, Daniel, Marta: “Good Morning”
Merkedes: “How did you sleep? Good or bad?”
Ahferom: “I didn’t sleep because I was scared. I don’t like this place.”
Daniel: “It’s ok, we will be leaving soon”
Marta: “Where are we going next?”
Merkedes: “We need to get to Libya. You must look after Ahferom while we look.”
Daniel and Merkedes go out looking.Sound of footsteps on gravel with background voices.
Daniel: “Excuse me, can you help me? Where can we get an agent? We need to get to Libya”
Man 1: “I know where there is an agent, come with me.”
Merkdes: “I do not want to go with you. I am scared Daniel.”
Daniel: “Don’t worry, I am with you.”
Agent: “Hi, how are you doing?”
Daniel: “I am good”
Agent: “What can I help you with?”
Daniel: “We need to get to Libya”
Agent: “How many of you?”
Agent: “I want 5,000 dollars”
Daniel: “That’s nearly all the money we have.”
Agent: “Ok…I don’t care. If you want to get to Europe, that is the price. We leave tomorrow.”
Merkedes: “Where will we sleep tonight, your home or the camp”
Agent: “My home”
Merkedes: “Money now?”
Agent: “Money Now!”
Daniel: “How long till we leave?”
Agent: “We leave tomorrow”
Merkedes and Daniel walk back to camp. Sound of footsteps on gravel.
Merkedes: “Daniel - Five thousand dollars? That’s nearly all our money.”
Daniel: “But we need to pay the money – it will get us all the way to Europe”
Continue walking…arrive at camp where Marta and Afherom are.
Merkedes: “We have found an agent. We leave tomorrow”
Marta: ”Where are we going?”
Daniel:” Libya first, then Italy, then Germany.”
Notes for scene: The lorry container would have around 70-80 people – too many for the size of the lorry. Inside the lorry it is hot and dark and the family must stay quiet. The journey takes around ten days and they are given only biscuits to eat. They stop for toilet breaks as they travel through the Egyptian dessert. The weather is hot and windy.
When the family arrive in Libya, the urgently need to find another agent.
The family try to sleep at the Agents house. There are many other people asleep. Maybe 50. The lorry arrives in the middle of the night - It is time to go `
Afherom: “I am hungry”
Man 2: “ssssshhhhh, he beats us if we talk, you must be very quiet.”
Sounds of rustling….
Agent is waking everyone up, quietly shaking people
Agent: “Wake up, wake up, wake up. Time to go, the lorry is here.”
Lots of footsteps as people leave the house. Whispering. Lorry door slams and engine starts.
The journey from Sudan to Libya took 15 days. If it was quiet the lorry would drive through the day. If it was busy, the lorry would only drive at night. The lorry carries 60-70 people which made the journey hot and uncomfortable.
Afherom: “It’s too many people. It’s so windy here, the sand is going in my eyes.”
Marta: “I know and it is so hot”
Daniel: “It will not last. Later it will get very cold”
Merkedes: “Ssshhh now. Eat the biscuits and stretch your legs, we will soon have to get back in the lorry”
Back ground talking. Lorry door shutting. Lorry driving.
They arrive in Libya at night time and are taken to another camp. There are too many people already in the camp. The lorry driver hands the refugees over to the Libyan agent.
Lorry Driver: “These are going to Italy next”
People talking. Gunfire, screaming and crying, whispering.
Afherom is scared and crying.
Merkedes: “Don’t worry, after two days we will leave Libya”
Afherom: “I want to leave now”
Daniel: “Be quiet”
Marta: “I am scared too Afherom but we have no choice.”
It is now January; the weather in Libya is freezing cold. There is no freedom and too many guns. There are many problems and you can see broken buildings.
Marta: “There is so much fighting. I do not like it here”
Merkedes: “People from Libya are leaving too”
Call to prayer in background
Marta: “What is that?”
Merkedes: “It is the call to prayer”
Marta: “I like it, it sounds peaceful”
Call to prayer
Now it is time to leave for Italy. 300 people will travel on a small ship for 17 hours, until they are stopped by the Italian coastguard and taken to dry land.
One of the Refugees will have to captain the boat
Coastguard: “Where is the captain?”
Man 3: “No Captain”
Coastguard: “Where have you come from?”
Man 3: “Libya”
Man 4: “Sudan”
Man 5: “Eritrea”
A small boat is sent to transfer the refugees to the coastguard’s boat. It takes a long time. Women and children go first. Marta, Merkedes and Afherom get off the boat first. Daniel has to wait.
Afherom: “Why can’t you come with us Daniel?”
Daniel: “They think I am a man, I have to wait”
Sea sound effects, small children crying, talking,
Itailian Coastguard: “Pan Pan – Pan Pan – Pan Pan, This is the Guardia costiera- Italian Coastguard 162345. We are 59 degrees 10 mins North. 146 degrees west.”
“We are approaching a small boat for rescue – there looks to be more than 200 people – repeat more than 200 people”
“We require extra coastguard assistance. Over”
Waves, sea crashing.
They are taken to a camp where there is also a pay phone