Photo: IOM/Florence Kim
“I left my country 23 years ago. I arrived here in Palermo and never left. Being the kind of person who loves to study, I decided to earn a Master’s degree. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to find a job soon after completing my studies. I started working as a professional in this field and was able to settle down and raise a family.
I live with my wife and our five children, who were born here and feel fully Italian. When it comes to how I feel personally, I think “home” is where we are now but I am still deeply attached to my Ghanaian identity. My children don’t perceive Ghana as their home; they are more European in that sense. My eldest daughter is dreaming about going to London to further her studies, like many of her peers.
Although I lead a very happy life now, I must confess it hasn’t always been like this. When I first arrived in Italy I thought I had made the wrong decision. At the beginning I was working as a gardener and it was so different from the job I had in Ghana that I thought it was not the right path for me. Back home, I was teaching at university: I was satisfied with my successful career. But once in Italy, I did not want to go back to Ghana, either.
I currently work as a consultant on migration policies. I serve my community in many ways by scheduling counselling meetings to listen to my nationals’ problems and give them as much advice as I can. I ease the way for them to integrate well within the Italian society by explaining the country’s basics and making them understand the norms and regulations.
When Italians ask me why I came here, I say: “Maybe I came here to help you out!” After all, by helping migrants, I am also helping Italy in managing migration as a whole."