Senegal - "Stop Trafficking": taking stock of nearly a year's field work

01 December 2017

(ANS - Tambacounda) - "What would I have done when I was twenty, without a job, in a village where electricity does not arrive and where there's water only thanks to some wells and the yellow and white bins, with the rows of people waiting to be able to have a little to wash and to prepare food?" It is the question Paola Schinelli asks, a collaborator of the NGO "International Volunteer Service for Development" (VIS) and the "Stop Trafficking" campaign go-to for "Don Bosco Missions" in Senegal, after months of field work.

Hers is a reflection made by the many youngsters Salesians and volunteers have encountered through the project that has just ended, implemented in partnership with the Don Bosco Center of Tambacounda and financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, with the objective of creating alternatives to irregular migration.

"The actions we have carried out," Ms Schinelli explained, "have taught us many things, made us come into contact with the phenomena of irregular migration that still today has no intention to cease, let alone change course."

"During a mission in the Goudiry area, one of the project sites," she continues, "I stopped to chat with young people in vocational training, youngsters who had already taken the route to the Mediterranean, but who said were willing to leave again should they not find work after the formation foreseen by the project, willing to risk their lives again along the formidable route."

Many young people know the risks the journey to the coast of Europe entails, but they say they are ready to face it because they can no longer bear the situation in which they live. But they often ignore the true reality that exists in Europe, the difficulties they will encounter once they arrive in Italy in obtaining a resident permit, a job, a house, create a life for themselves, that life so dreamed about during the whole trip.

The Salesians, Don Bosco Missions and VIS are continuing to work on the field in collaboration with the dioceses and local authorities to build alternatives in Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, through development projects aimed at guaranteeing work in their own land for potential migrants and through information campaigns to make them aware of the risks of travel.

Further information is available on the "Missioni Don Bosco" website.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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