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“Just today, my sister sent me a message telling me that she had achieved the grade she needed to study medicine at university”, explains Ahmed with a twinkle in his eye. His sister will be the first member of his family to go to university and Ahmed couldn’t be prouder.

Ahmed had to drop out of secondary school early to find a job and help support his family. “I wanted to study, but if you don’t have anyone to support you, it’s impossible. Now my sister has me”, Ahmed says happily.

He explains that when he first arrived in Barcelona, he knew he wanted to study, find a good job and fulfil his dream of building a house for his family. His first move was to attend the Spanish classes run by the Fundació BarcelonActua. “I started when the Foundation had just opened its first shelter home. I knew that, in a matter of months, I’d be too old to stay where I was living and that I’d end up on the streets, so they offered me a place at BACstation.”

He admits that he was initially a bit nervous about moving into a new house with strangers, but that everyone was very supportive. “My colleagues and the volunteers I met through the activities are now my family here in Barcelona”, he says. He also points out that his support teacher, Adela, ended up becoming his point of reference and provided him with huge emotional support. Through her, Ahmed secured the job contract that enabled him to get his papers in order. “She was with me every step of the way.”

“The day I got my papers, I called my mum. She said she hoped I could go and visit her now”, says Ahmed, who admits that if it weren’t for that job, he’d have booked a flight right there and then. “Now everything is fine. All I need is to see my family and hug my sister before she leaves for university”, he explains with a smile, just a few days before leaving for a trip to Morocco.

With his official papers in order, a steady job and a room, Ahmed will be bidding farewell to his colleagues, teachers and the place he has called home for two years. “BACstations really are stations. Stops on the way to the future, a place where you can study and learn things you could never have imagined, all while receiving support throughout the administrative process that will help you reach your destination”, explains Ahmed. “I’ve already reached my destination, which is why I’m leaving. But I hope the project will continue to support many more people. I hope it never stops”, he says, decisively.