Two months before finishing his studies, Daniel had to leave his country, Eritrea, because of the political instability. He managed to collect USD 3,000 to pay a smuggler who promised to take him to Sudan, Libya, and finally Europe. Once in Libya, Daniel had to pay 5,000 dollars more to stay alive and attempt the crossing. “My family sold everything to enable me to travel to Europe. Two of my brothers have already left and are living in the UK”. After eight hours on a small boat, Daniel and the other migrants were picked up by a rescue ship and brought to Lampedusa.
He was then brought to Sicily and to Rome where he spent half a year in a reception centre, sharing a room with eight people. The two and a half euros Daniel received daily he spent on mobile internet to remain in touch with his family.
From Italy, Daniel was relocated to the Netherlands. After arrival, he was brought to an asylum seeker centre where he became friends with two other Eritreans. “An officer from a municipality not so far away from the asylum seeker centre visited the centre to meet me and my two new friends. He wanted to see whether there is a connection between us and his municipality. We were all very positive, so, in two weeks, my Eritrean friends and I will be housed together in this municipality”.
Although he could not be relocated to the UK to join his two brothers, Daniel says he is happy. “What helps me a lot is the ‘buddy to buddy programme’”. Daniel meets his ‘buddy’ weekly to learn the Dutch language and extend his social network.
Daniel wants to finish his Dutch language course and then his education. “After two or three years, I would like to live in a city where there is a university, such as Nijmegen. My dream is to study computer engineering”.
Daniel is one of the + 2000 migrants who have been relocated from Italy and Greece to the Netherlands since the start of the EU Relocation programme.
Read more about Daniel and the Relocation to the Netherlands in general here.