The journey of African immigrants

Whenever I meet African immigrants, I often wonder what their story is – their journey for a better life abroad.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Africans leave their homeland because they lost their homes in natural disasters such as floods; because of lack of job opportunities, food and other resources; because they want to escape violence and civil wars; or simply because they feel a better life is waiting for them abroad. These immigrants end up in countries like Italy, France, U.S.A, Brazil, Canada and Argentina.

For some of them, the saddest truth is not the reason they decide to leave their home countries. For the immigrants who travel by land or sea, the saddest truth is the horror they endure during their journey from Africa to their final destination – if they make it there alive.

Surviving on water and biscuits for as long as a few weeks to six months while being stowed away on the bottom level of a ship, many African immigrants risk their lives to relocate to abroad. If these risk-taking travelers survive dangerous storms, unrelenting winter months or scorching desert sun without food, water or proper protection against the harsh weather, they still face the possibility of becoming seriously ill or dying half way through their journey.

If you think that’s bad, imagine being continuously raped and molested, resulting in unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. Or being cornered in a situation of  ‘kill or be killed’ as immigrants slaughter one another to steal money to pay their carrier to take them across different borders throughout their journey.  During the journey, those who no longer have money to cross borders are left behind. Some kill other immigrants and steal their money to cover the fare.

Man or woman, young or old, child or not, these are the risks African immigrants face during their journey, especially the one who travel by land or sea.

From being stowed away on cargo ships for weeks on end, to falsifying passports and other documents to overstaying their visit on a legit tourist visa, many African immigrants end up abroad illegally. Those are the lucky ones. Many more die along the way during their journey from harsh weather and living condition, lack of food and water, or being slaughtered.

~ by omonaij on September 23, 2012.

One Response to “The journey of African immigrants”

  1. Wow! This is soo true!! Interesting read

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