I am a proud black woman from Ghana. This is a beautiful country in Africa. I had heard that in Europe everybody is rich and you could earn a lot of money. So when I turned forty years old, I left my husband and five children behind in Ghana. I went to the Netherlands to earn money so that my family would have a good life. I wanted a better future for them. My name is Gina and this is my story.
In Uganda people have the mentality that the US and the British embassies are the toughest when it comes to visa applications but for me it was not the case. I had enough knowledge of the visa process and I got a visa for six months to the United Kingdom.
While there are many advantages to Africans leaving the continent or their respective countries to go to Europe or America for work, for many, their real dreams were to go to Europe so they could return home to Africa. Many want to open up business in their homelands, build homes and invest. Africans in the 21st century are not simply looking to go to western lands and remain there, we are looking to come home and be builders of our own destiny.
High hopes in Europe, real opportunities back home
Opportunities created for diaspora in Africa
Africans migrating to Europe always come with high hopes of making what they call “lots of money” and are rudely awaken by challenges -some unmanageable- that they quickly find themselves either struggling to keep up or fighting opportunist illnesses coming as a result of this unmeasurable stress. Or worse: they fall into depression.
What they call "a success story" of dreaming of home
Is Europe worth taking the risk? My answer is: ‘NO'!
Over and over again, I hear about African people risking their lives to get to Europe. We know the stories of immigrants risking the seas on tiny boats unequipped for the journey, but there are even more dangerous ways to travel. A guy from Angola got into the chassis compartment of an airplane, planning to get to Heathrow. When the wheels came out, 2000 ft. above the ground, he fell to the ground. Of course; he had frozen to death long before due to exposure to high altitudes and low temperatures.
I almost joined criminal gangs due to lack of jobs
The temptation of getting involved in risky jobs
I thought by travelling to Europe I would overcome all the problems I had in Africa, but the situation in Europe was almost the same as in Africa. Sometimes I would feel so desperate that I thought of participating into risky ventures that would mean a life of crime. Luckily I always controlled myself.
Ssuuna tries to find a job. Being illegal makes finding a job extra difficult
Finding a job in Europe without papers is quite difficult. Only a few employers will hire you, mainly because it is cheaper for them. Even then there is a high risk that they will be caught by the police.