Nobody Wanted Me by Soledad Castillo

a nutshell: this is a moving account of resilience from a young refugee, Soledad, who fled her native Honduras aged 14 (having survived disease, sexual assault by her step-father, and child labour) to forge a new life for herself in California

a line: “Many Americans think that we come here to take their jobs, to do bad things, to take advantage of the country. I’m not a bad person. I came here to survive, to do better in this world, to help my family and other people.”

an image: Soledad describes the moment when, aged 12, she fearfully told her mother what her step-father had done; refusing to believe her, her mother tried to hit her and the 12 year old ended up running from the house crying – on returning a few hours later, she found her mother packing the child’s clothes and she was sent away from home into unpaid work

a thought: it’s uplifting to read how sharing her story has changed Soledad’s life – now if she ever feels sad or despairing, she rereads what she wrote to be reminded that so many things have come true for her; that she can get up and go on

a fact: Soledad is currently studying for a degree while working for John Burton Advocates for Youth, a civic organisation that advocates for foster children’s rights

Soledad’s story is featured in Solito, Solita: Crossing Borders with Youth Refugees from Central America (ed. Steven Mayers & Jonathan Freedman)

want to read the book? visit here

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