IOM The Gambia
“I am grateful to IOM for the support. This has changed my life forever.”
I left The Gambia in April 2016. Before my departure, I was a trainee teacher at the college. As I was personally funding my travel, I had to stay in Mauritania to work and earn some money before proceeding further. I spent a week in Niger and five months in Sabha, Libya, where I also stayed to work and pay for my crossing. I attempted to cross twice, but was unable to make it each time I tried and got imprisoned.
As the son of a single parent, I felt compelled to leave. We were poor and providing for the family’s basic needs was getting increasingly difficult. I was pressured, thus leading to my departure from the country to look for better opportunities in Europe.
I do not regret my decision to come back home, as my life was saved. I was in prison when IOM came to our assistance and facilitated our voluntary return to The Gambia. I am happy to be back home and alive.
After my arrival in The Gambia, I attended an information session and signed up for an educational grant because I wanted to go back to school to continue my studies.
After all the necessary procedures, I received a grant which supported my tuition to pursue a diploma program in Diplomacy and International Relations at the Management Development Institute. The educational grant also covered school materials, such as a laptop, text and exercise books, a USB memory stick, a bicycle, a school bag and stationery. The support has enabled me to go back to school and pursue my dreams.
I wanted to study Diplomacy and International Relations for two reasons: one, because I aspire to work for an international organization; and two, because I had been affected by the crisis in Libya, which involves elements of diplomacy and international relations. The course is going well, and I am learning a lot about the international system, including peace and conflict management and development issues.