Abdirizak: changed his mind about migration

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Photo | Abdirizak at home in Lasanod/Farah Dubbad/Ergo

Radio Ergo 19 February, 2016 LAASCAANOOD


Abdirizak Ibrahim Mohamed (nicknamed Sanweyne) is a 29-year-old from Aricadeeye, 32 km from Lasanod, who describes himself as a loyal fan of Radio Ergo.  When he started making plans to set off for Libya, as his brothers had done, his mother advised him to listen to Radio Ergo’s migration programme, hoping to bring him to his senses.

The programmes, in which migrants share their personal stories of dangerous and often deeply traumatizing experiences, made Abdirizak rethink his plans. He explained to Radio Ergo’s Fatuma Maalim how he was influenced by what he heard on the radio and decided to channel his energy into building a better life at home.

Abdirizak: I listened to the stories of the migrants and all the obstacles, challenges and hardships they faced when migrating to reach their destination. My two younger brothers both migrated in 2003 and 2009 respectively to Libya.  It had been on my own mind too since 2014.  I live in this village - I am unemployed, and have nothing to do the whole day. I decided I would leave this place and look for a better life by migrating to Europe as other youth have done from our town.  But now, I have realised that wasn’t the right choice, and I have changed my mind.

Fatuma: What pushed you to change your plans?

Abdirizak: As I was in the middle of making my plans, my mother informed me about the migration programme on Ergo Radio. She encouraged me to listen to the programme so that Icould get properly informed and change my plan. I did so, and have decided to stay… I started listening to the programmes towards the end of last year. One day in January in particular, I was listening and I heard the stories of some youth who migrated, they were narrating all kinds of horrible things that happened to them - it was frightening to hear their stories! It was a turning point for me and I immediately then changed my mind.

Fatuma: What was it that scared you?

Abdirizak: I used to be thick-headed and stubborn about sticking to my own mind, but after I heard that so many youth lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea, I realised that migration was not after all an easy thing. In addition, I knew what had happened to one of my brothers, whosuffered so many dangers and crossed to Europe but still didn’t get job when he got there and is just staying idle.

Fatuma: Do you have any other plans since deciding not to migrate?

Abdirizak: I am trying to find employment in one of the big towns… I am very hopeful I will get something. I am thinking that I need to become the breadwinner of my family. We used to depend on our mother, who was a businesswoman, but we sold the two shops and our land to get money for the boys who migrated away. So our lives are no longer as they were, and we have been left with nothing. My mother became jobless, so it’s me now who has to get a job to work for the family.”

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