Hello Mr. President; The Returnees…

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It has been reported in the media – repeatedly – that Gambian migrants are to return home from different parts of the world. Some are to return from Libya (some have even been reported to be around already). It is also said that the Gambia should accept returnees from Europe and America. The question is: if they come, what is here for them?

Mr President, let us remember that these people left the country under very difficult circumstances. Some of them went the back way risking their all, just to reach the shores of Europe in order to seek greener pastures. This was because the system had failed them. They could not find jobs – or if they did – it was not good enough for them to live a comfortable and dignified life.

Thus, some of them must be frustrated and others angry – very angry indeed. Now that they have returned, or will return, they will need something concrete to hold unto in order to deal with the trauma they must be going through. If they don’t have jobs to go back to, or they don’t have a strong family link, they might get more frustrated which may even cause them to become criminals.

Government should therefore make arrangements to screen these people when they come so that those who might need therapy will have access to someone who they can talk to. This will manage their frustration/anger for the short term. But then, it will not be enough.

The screening should also inform the government on what they can do to serve their nation andearn a living. When the result of this is made available to government and other employers, these people should be provided jobs so that their transition  into society will not be difficult.

It will not do for them to just be returned home without any plans to reintegrate them back into society: otherwise, we may see an increase in the crime rate in the country. So, Mr President, do not only return them but ensure that they have a solid base to return to.

Have a Good Day Mr President….

Tha Scribbler Bah

A Concerned Citizen

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