Albert’s family fell apart when he was 5 years old. He relates how he and his brother and sister lived in a hut made of planks, tarpaulins and plastic sheets. His father only had casual jobs in the construction industry. The children gathered recyclable waste, which they then sold. And they collected everything else that they could use in some way.
At one point, Albert and his younger sister even went begging in the streets. “Our brother was too small, he was only about 3, so we didn’t take him with us”, Albert recalls. One day he heard about the Center for Youth Integration (CIM), but he was afraid at first: “We thought they’d take us to an orphanage”. But he eventually dared to go to the CIM drop in shelter with his brother and sister. “We couldn’t just come and go as we pleased; we had to follow the rules and even go to school”, he says.