YAIM Caravan: Gambian Returnees Relive Dangerous ‘Backway’ Experiences

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By Aja Dahaba, edited by Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT

Youths against Irregular Migration (YAIM) continued their sensitization caravan in the Lower River Region communities of Pakaliba, Bureng, Japineh, Sankuya and Jarra Soma in schools and community gatherings.

The aim of the sensitization caravan is to increase awareness of irregular migration and to reduce the number of youths embarking on the ‘backway’ from the Gambia.

Gambian returnees determined to warn young Gambians of the dangers of irregular migration and advocate for migrants rights founded YAIM. They speak in town and village gathering, on radio, social media and organize caravan tours to take their message to other regions of the country.

Through their activities, they engage village heads and other members of the village to listen to the experiences of returnees. Women also form part of the audience and the use of public address systems was used to engage the local community in their local languages.

A young female returnee by the name of Fatou Cham also took time to share her experience, as she recounted her story of life in Libya, another female colleague by the name Oumie Camara moved away from the crowd with tears rolling down her face recalling her own painful experiences.

The impact that the experiences had was clear for all to see as it moved the hearts and minds of many who had no idea of the type of hardships that migrants encounter on their journey to Europe. A 45 year old woman explained that “we encouraged them to go because they had ambitions to make lives better for us here and there were no jobs they could do here. 45year old woman said.

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