German Project to Engage 750 Gambian Students in Irregular Migration


By Mustapha Jallow

The ‘Leeral’ Migration, a German based foundation that advocates against irregular migration, has set its plans to engage seven hundred and fifty School going students on the challenges and risks involved in the deadly route to Europe dubbed ‘back-way’, during the weekend.

The project aims to raise public awareness especially for the youth, on the impacts of irregular migration and to promote a new perspective on the subject.

The project which is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, is organized by the ‘Leeral’ Project in collaboration with a local organization called “Bati Askanwi’’; the University of The Gambia and Journalism Student’s Association themed on: “The Impact of Irregular Migration on the Contribution of the Youth in National Development.’’  

Moctar Kamara, the Project’s Regional Coordinator said their main objective is to give the right information about migration to Germany and its consequences; that they want to sensitize the African youth on migration by showing them the perspective and opportunities they can get in Gambia.

‘‘We decided to include Gambia in our project because too many young people from The Gambia died on the way to Europe. We want to report about the situation from Gambian refugees in Germany,’’ said Kamara, the regional coordinator.

Modou Lamin Joof, a Gambian journalist and Executive Director of ‘Bati Askanwi’ organization, said they are targeting 250 students at each school and engaging them on illegal migration and also offer alternative opportunities where people such as students will use to travel regularly or legally to Europe, most especially to Germany.

He explained that the project was at some point put on hold in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic. It has resumed now with the intention to carry out its activities in 2021.

“At least three West African countries have been selected to engage in this upcoming event this month. The countries that are to participate in this program are: Senegal, The Gambia and Mauritania, targeting only secondary schools and universities, who benefit from the awareness raising campaign on irregular migration,” said Joof.

Meanwhile the targeted schools are: University of The Gambia, Banjulinding Senior School and Mbullum Ahmadiyya Muslim Upper Basic/Secondary schools in North Bank region.

During the engagement, Joof said it will enable students to gain skills that will enhance their understanding of irregular migration and related issues towards national development.

Joof said drama competition among schools will be hosted during the activities and the winning school shall represent The Gambia in Dakar, Senegal for its major event to be held in December, 2021. He added the event will be held on 24rd June and wrap up on 25th June 2021.

Meanwhile, Dr. Joy Alemazung, a Senior Analyst at the Global Governance Institute Brussels (Belgium) for the Peace and Security Section, was selected by the project to visit the Gambia and give a presentation on the topics of irregular migration and so on.

He is also visiting Professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Bremen and Professional School of Business & Technology, University of Applied Sciences Kempten. 

Dr. Alemazung is originally from Cameroon and serves as Senior Policy Officer at the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. He studied Sociology and Political Science in Germany with a doctorate degree in Political Science. He is also an active ambassador of the UN Women Germany branch.