I am the youngest of the 5 children in my family. We lived in a small village in the middle of nowhere, 125 kilometers away from Lisbon. It was one of the hottest region of the country. My mother has 14 siblings, my father 12. You can say that we are a big family. I would have loved staying in Portugal but it was hard to make enough earnings to support such a big family. We moved to Belgium, my second country, when I was 4 years old.

Our family is not rich. We used to live just to keep our heads above the water. My big brothers got in contact with some wrong people and went to prison because of theft, but deep down, they are good people. The most beautiful memory that I have with my brothers is that when we just arrived in Belgium, we would bike for hours and hours to discover the quartiers that we didn’t know much about.

It was the time without mobile phones. My mom would get mad every evening because we never arrived home in time. There was no news of us either. We were the kids that broke the rules but we were free spirits. It was an incredible feeling to have my big brothers around me all the time who would protect me. Now they are paying price for the mistakes that they have made, but the important thing is that they would be free soon and become good men again.

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