Khalil’s Story

by: A Belgian Man Who Volunteered to Be Guardian of an Underage Afghan Refugee

I am the former guardian of Khalil, an unaccompanied minor refugee from Afghanistan who got the status of ‘subsidiary protected’ in Belgium as from May 2017.  At that time still a minor, Khalil applied for family reunification. With the assistance of Caritas International Belgium the family started the procedure.  They were able to gather all the necessary documents and submitted their application at the Belgian Embassy in Islamabad – Pakistan early October 2017. In August 2018 the decision of the Belgian government was positive and the family was allowed to come to Belgium.

Since the situation in Nangarhar province where the family lived got worse – there were a lot of fights between Taliban and Afghan police and especially Khalil’s 17 years old brother was targeted by the Taliban – the family let us know they preferred to leave the country the sooner the better.

Bringing a family of 7 persons (father, mother & 3 brothers and 2 sisters (all between 2,5 and 17 years old)) to Belgium was not easy and very expensive.  Therefore Caritas mentioned the organization Miles4Migrants and offered to mediate and to arrange flight tickets for 7 people.

Together with the family the choice was to fly from New Delhi, which was seen much safer than a flight from Pakistan.  Miles 4 Migrants supported the flight from New Delhi to Brussels and the family afforded the tickets from Kabul to Delhi.

Meanwhile in Belgium, it was not easy to find a house, but at the last minute we got a useful tip of a house that was available great enough to host a big family. With the support of family and friends (Belgian and Afghan people) the house was renovated and furnished in due time in order to accommodate the family who arrived in Brussels on Monday November 19.

It was a warm welcome at the airport after three years being separated.  For Khalil and Shah it was the first time they met each other! Shah was born half a year after Khalil left his family.

The family appreciates all these efforts and would like to thank both organizations Caritas and Miles4Migrants (and especially the British / Indian man who offered the miles to support the flight) and also all the people who took care of furnishing the house, collecting the family at the airport….

All these efforts surely will help the family to start a new life in a safe environment.

One week after their arrival in Belgium the oldest brother and sisters started with intensive Dutch language courses.  The younger brothers were registered in a primary school and the parents will start soon with an integration course which will help them all to feel more at home in Belgium.

How Miles4Migrants helps

We collaborate with a network of global non-governmental organization (NGO) partners who work directly with refugees and migrants to identify and verify individuals who are financially unable to afford air travel. Once our partners submit flight requests, we use donated frequent flyer miles, credit card points, travel vouchers, and cash to eliminate transportation barriers for the most vulnerable individuals affected by war, persecution, or climate disaster. Our goal is to help these individuals reunite with their loved ones and start a new life in a safe environment.

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– According to the United Nations, there are currently 108 million individuals forcibly displaced from their homes worldwide.  

– The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that seeking asylum is a fundamental human right. Everyone has the right to life and liberty. Everyone has the right to freedom from fear. Everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution.

As migration is often the last option for survival, migrants may embark on clandestine journeys, subject to danger, extortion, and inhumane conditions

Once they finally get legal approval for resettlement, migrants face another challenge that makes the journey seem impossible: the transportation costs.

There are many ways for you to get involved and help us continue our work:

You can donate cash to help us cover operational expenses or contribute your unused air miles, credit card points, or travel vouchers to help us book flights for refugees and asylum seekers. Additionally, you can help us spread the word about our cause and our impact on the lives of those we serve.

Every donation, no matter how big or small, has the power to make a difference. Thank you for considering supporting our mission.

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