The Gift I will Never Forget - Carina

Carina grew up in Vietnam, where her father had been part of the South Vietnamese government. In 1979, after this government had been overthrown for a few years, Carina's mother was worried about her children’s future and the increasing risk of them being sent to fight against Cambodia. Hoping that they could get to America, Carina was put onto a boat with her younger brother and sister and told to look after them.


After a dangerous boat trip, avoiding pirates and surviving Malaysian authorities who fired on their boat before turning it back, Carina and her fellow passengers found their way to Indonesia. Here authorities took them to an uninhabited island and left them without any food, water, medicine or facilities. At first they were a group of four hundred people, however, four months later, when they were found by the UNHCR, their numbers had increased to be almost one thousand.


This is sixteen year-old Carina's story on the Island.