African group campaigns against illegal migration

Image of Sylvie Nantcha and some members of her group during their visit in Cameroon

TMP – 15/05/2017

A group of Africans living in Europe recently visited Cameroon to launch their campaign against illegal migration. The group, called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea”, aims to raise awareness among young people in Africa about the dangers of illegal migration.  The African Network of Germany (TANG), an umbrella organization of people of African descent living in Germany lead by Sylvie Nantcha is funding the project.

“We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong,” said Sylvie Nantcha, the leader of the group.

The group, comprised of ten Africans living across Europe, plans to visit other countries in the region later this year, including Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Niger, Algeria and Libya, where they will screen a film based on Nantcha’s interviews with migrants. In Yaounde in Cameroon, hundreds of people gathered at each of the three recent screenings of the film, which aims to discourage illegal migration.

“They told me when they started the journey, they thought it would take them maybe just two weeks, but they were one year, or two or three years on their way to Europe. They thought the journey would not be very expensive, but at the end they had spent more than 10,000 euros ($10,600). They had been given wrong information, like ‘if you arrive in Italy or in Spain, you would get a job’ and now they had arrived and not been given a job,” Sylvie Nantcha said.

The short film is extracted from the interviews Sylvie Nantcha and her team conducted with more than 100 migrants, asking them to share their experiences from the journey and to describe the hardships they faced after arrival.

“I made a lot of interviews last year with Africans and they told me that when they started their journey, they thought that the journey will take them maybe just two weeks, but they were one year or two years or three years on their way to Europe and they spent more than 10,000 euros,” Nantcha explained.

“They had other wrong information like if you arrive we will give you a job, and they arrive in Italy in Spain or in Germany and they don’t have a job,” Nantcha added.