Yubernis Vivas (Johanna)

Soura

In Columbia, we lived in constant fear and hardly dared lie down to sleep. We were terrified of what could happen during the night. If someone came to kill us. I was just 21 when my husband was murdered by rebel groups from the more than 50-year long armed conflict between the weak Columbian government and the strong and drug-funded militias. I fled with my 18-month-old son Edinson to neighbouring Ecuador. But this is a country where human rights are subject to daily violation, so we applied for asylum in a peaceful country, all while we stayed temporarily with an acquaintance. One day I got a letter confirming that the UN quota system had decided that our future would lie here in Denmark. After a brief stay in Aalborg, we were moved to a place in Skagen.

We feel completely safe here in Skagen. When I think of life before the flight, I struggle to remember anything nice. It was always war and insecurity. The only decent thing was the weather. Always hot and sunny, even during the winter. In Skagen, however, I enjoy the peace and quiet. During the week, there isn’t time for much. Going to school at VUC, including commute, is ten hours per day. After two years at the language school in Frederikshavn, I speak Danish so well that I was able to start at VUC, and my ambition is to study to be a nurse. Edinson, who is now eight, goes to school in Skagen, and we both enjoy the small town, where we now have several local acquaintances, including some from the church.

28 / female / widow / child / VUC / Skagen / from Columbia / came to Denmark in 2004 / residence permit same year