Unaccompanied minor in Quimper: “Shelter and food, it was a great day for me” – Quimper

Unaccompanied minor in Quimper: "Shelter and food, it was a great day for me" - Quimper

A thin figure, now 20 years old, Tiken is more of a quiet and discreet guy. It is not very complicated to realize, immersing his gaze in his, that something is broken in this great teenager who six years ago ran away from his situation and his Ivory Coast without papers, with the hope of a fairer world and a better life.

There are breaking points. First, the breakup of the family. Then, arbitrary imprisonment – not to say slavery – in Libya. He will be rescued in extremis, on a sinking tire on the other side of the Mediterranean, by the coast guard who retrieves everything, including the bodies of the first drowned… Not to mention this challenge to his minority by the state that runs the services of the departmental council to put him on the street , one morning in the summer of 2019 in Quimper, with the strict application of the court decision. The response of the French administration was another act of violence.

About this more than uncertain course and with multiple dangers, Tiken says little and never complains. Well aware of the essential: to be alive.

Brittany by accident

Tiken’s exile first marks a phase of several months in northern Italy. Then the teenager gets on the train to Paris. Later, another TGV, more or less randomly, from which the manu militari in Quimperlé originated, not really knowing where it was. But where, in an emergency, a spontaneous gesture of elementary humanity saves him from the streets. Before assuming responsibility, quickly and clearly, by the Department which will last for seven months.

Here he was elevated to the rank of unaccompanied minor (MNA). A status that gives him protection: a roof, food and the beginning of a life project through training as a coachman at the Pont-de-Buis high school of motoring. “It was a big day for me,” he recalls four years later. As for the forty other waiting migrant minors, the Hotel Dupleix, located next to the department in the center of Kimper, becomes “his house”.


Here, the service opened a second reception center in Finistère in 2017. “We had breakfast and two meals in the canteen of the county council. I was in a 9m2 room with another young man. It was good. The managers were kind to us. The teachers came several times a week. But we were still quite alone and did nothing. However, Tieken remembers the doors opened for them by various Quimper associations and volunteers: “French lessons, trips to the sea, bike rides”.

Tiken will complete another CAP in construction in June, prepare for his driver’s license and dream of living in a tiny house. “Yes. To build a family…”

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