One Way Ticket


At various times throughout history, millions of migrants have sailed the seas with the common goal of escaping an unsafe situation and finding a better world to live in. Yesterday it was us, if it's not the case today, and it could be us tomorrow. It's a common destiny, but the journey doesn't always fulfill the hopes of those who take it.

I wanted to get to Italy and I made it.

Two years and three months ago I left from Mauritania to Spain.

I paid 400,000 Francs CFA, the equivalent of 600 euros. I had about half that amount and a friend lent me the rest. The only things I brought were the clothes on my back.

We were more than 100 boys on the boat. There were no women or children because the four and    a half day trip would have been too hard for them. It was June, hot, and some vomited from sea sickness. I would never repeat such a trip, not  even to go back.

I'm angry, very angry. Because it’s not like they said it would be here. It's impossible to find a job in Italy, especially if you don’t have the proper papers.

Today I am a street vendor selling bags in Venice, but business is bad because we only sell in the summer. When we see the police we start running. They already caught me two or three times. They give you  a fine, release you, and everything starts again.

My dream was and still is to become a truck driver like my uncle. I drove with him often as a child. I managed to get a truck driver's license in Senegal, but it’s not valid here. If there was work, it'd be nice to build my family in Italy.

I wanted to get to Italy and I made it.
Bamba, 26, Senegal

But as I tell my brothers who are still in Senegal, things are very different from what they think.    The whole world has changed now, there is a global crisis... My situation is much worse here than it was in Senegal, that’s for sure.