by Mirko Bellis
"I migrated the first time at the end of 2013. We left by car from Accra and arrived in Agadez, Niger. From there we reached Saba in Libya where they kidnapped me for a month. They only released me when my family paid the ransom. Once free I continued my trip to Tripoli." It is the crude testimony of Ofori Gyase Hendrus, a 33-year-old Ghanaian.
Ofori spent four years in Libya before returning home due to health problems. It took six months of hospital care to heal, but now he has found a new opportunity in his country: the vocational training course in eco-sustainable agriculture organized by the Salesians and VIS in Sunyani, a city in the Brong-Ahafo region.
"Whoever fails to arrive in Italy, in Europe, is someone who feels they have failed before their community," said Gianpaolo Gullotta, VIS Cooperator.
"The principle cause of irregular immigration for us young people in Ghana is the lack of employment," says 30-year-old Badu Christiana. "I thought I would migrate too. We do it because we are looking for a better life. However, once we have learned a profession that allows us to live with dignity, the desire to leave disappears."
In the didactic greenhouses, used as practical training workshops, young people learn how the techniques of biodynamic agriculture. "I want to become a farmer. I will borrow money from my family and put it together with my few savings," says Emmanuel Kwame Osei, a 31-year-old student.
"Earning money here," echoes Badu, "is the best way to prevent illegal immigration."
The vocational training courses in sustainable agriculture in Ghana are only part of the numerous projects carried out by Salesians and VIS in the "Stop Trafficking - Here we are dealing with human beings" campaign.