Helena, born in Singapore, living in the UK, age 16

 

This looks like a really practical thing to bring.  I'm guessing the man discarded it because the blades had gone too dull but there's something really poignant about his devotion to grooming and self-care. My grandfather's family had to trek through the Malayan jungle during WWII when the Japanese Occupation took place.  I think this man must be very brave and I hope he's somewhere much better now.

 

Fleur, born in Thailand, living in the UK, age 15

 

Initially, I didn’t think much of this necklace as it seems so ordinary, but as I was drawing it, questions popped into my mind: why did they leave this behind? Why was this object so important the person had to take it on the journey with them?  Perhaps the person ahd to leave this object because they had to make themselves as light as possible.  This necklace reminds me of a religious bracelet I had for a few years—it may not mean much to others, but it made me feel secure.

 

Flavia, born in Romania, living in the UK, age 16

 

This note had a purpose, a purpose it quite possibly never fulfilled.  We do not know what the note actually says, but we knew it had a purpose. But now it just sits on my desk.

 

Sofia, Iranian/Finnish/Sewdish, living in the UK, age 15

 

This wallet contains 45,000 dinars—which is equivalent to £30.59.  One note is ripped. It has been taped up.  The brown wallet is leather and is not particularly used. One considers a wallet to be a possession of top priority.  This means the owner must have been rushed which led to the loss.  When a new Shah came to power in Iran, he kicked my grandfather and father’s family out.  They quickly loaded their processions onto some ships and fled, but mines “accidentally” sank all the ships.  All of their processions were lost and none could be retrieved.  This has taught me to be less materialistic, like my father.  I have asked about this incident but he is always vague because it touches a nerve.

 

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Sze Lynn, Malaysian, living in UK, age 17

 

This bracelet could be a symbol of friendship-- it serves as a recognition of a relationship.

 

Phoebe, Scottish/South African, living in the UK, age 14

 

This object offers guidance to God.  It represents hope. All the happy times this person has experienced in their life is contained in each bead.  This object guides me to think of the love I should bless on other people and to kep trying no matter what. It makes me think of the struggle Jesus Christ went through for humanity but he never gave up.  It makes me think you should remember your past and let it teach you to be a better person. And you should wake up each day with hope. We are all equal human beings walking the earth.

 

Polina, Russian, living inteh UK, age 15

 

These shoes are worn out and covered in mud.  The inside is moulded into the shape of the wearer’s foot. The shoes are so small. It makes me feel upset and angry that a child so small had to endure such a perilous journey. I have a younger brother around the age of the person who could wear this shoe, and he's scared of mice, I can't image him suffering through this. At the bottom there is a name: Salman.  I hope he is still well. I am reminded that everyone-- of all ages-- is forced into doing this.

 

Sophie, British, living in the UK, age 14

 

My phone is important to me and I can see how important itwould be, the joy it could bring, being used in a situation like this. It would bring me comfort to call someone.

 

Lissie, living in the UK, age 17

 

Holding this coin in my hand makes me realise just how real the struggle is.  Someone, making the most dangerous journey of their life held this coin.  I hope that person is safe. It's so easy to distance ourselves from this. The world is so full of problems, and we the fortunate seem to choose which problems we notice.  But this coin makes it all so horrifyingly real. Yes, this coin may bind us physically but it is much more than that. .  I think it belonged to a 17 year old like me. Perhaps she didn't like the sea, like me. I wish I knew this person's name.