My three-year old grandson, Buba*, was born in Libya when his parents were attempting the irregular journey to Europe in search of greener pastures. His father continued to Italy while his mother is still in Libya. He was only seven months-old when he returned to The Gambia in 2018, accompanied by other returnees.
His mother said she could not take care of him anymore, so she asked a friend to help bring him back to The Gambia. It was really challenging for Buba when he came back, as he had some health complications, including a skin infection. I took good care of him, gave him milk to feed on and gave him the motherly love he needed to feel secured and protected.
In the first year of his return, we received support to fund his basic needs. I also received support to empower my business, so that I could continue to cater for the needs of Buba. During those days, I did not have much time to take care of the business. I went through sleepless nights, but thank God everything is fine now. just like men, women need to be empowered in order to contribute to the advancement of their families and societies.
Buba is now attending the first year at the nursery school and he is very passionate about his schooling. He is a very intelligent kid and he always reads his books and recites the numbers and letters of the alphabet. I want him to continue his schooling, so he can get a good job and be successful in life.
Buba and his grandmother received reintegration assistance through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, funded by the European Union's Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.