Above: Alasan (16) from The Gambia on a square in Milan.Below: Alasan says he would like to be a computer hacker 'But a good one, not the bad kind.' He says 'I'm from a small village in the Central River Region. Both my parents died a long time ago, so I stayed with my uncle. He wanted me to go to a religious school…but I didn't want to do it…. After I stood up to my uncle, he stopped paying for my normal lessons…. He was angry with me and threatened to beat me many times. One day, and I'm not proud of this, I stole money from him, left home and went on my trip. I went to Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, and then I went into Libya. When I got there, I was out of money so I had to work… You go out in the streets and hope somebody picks you up for a day's work. But the police came and took us straight to prison, because we were illegal. I was in prison for almost six months, and we got beaten almost every day…. At a certain point they let us go and we left the town. Our driver … decided to take us straight to Sabratah, a smugglers town. We stayed there on the beach for two months… With the money I saved in Sabha, I was able to pay for the crossing. I was on the boat for one night, with about 135 people. They (SOS Medecins du Monde) saved us, I stayed on their boat for two nights. When I set foot in Italy, I was relieved. Finally, we were free, liberated…. Here in the centre I'm fed, I'm clothed, it's safe… I've been in the centre for just over two months now and so far, so good.'In the first five months of 2016, more than 33,000 migrants made the perilous journey from north Africa to Italy. Of these, at least 5300 were unaccompanied minors (UAM). Photographer Chris de Bode met with nine UAMs living in shelters in Milan and Sicily and captured, not their despair, but their dreams in images that represented their hopes for their futures.