In 2014 Chris & SB met in Tangiers, Morocco , through both having mutual friends in the activist group Interzone Voices and No Borders Morocco. In the short time SB was in Morocco, Chris shared everything he had, and explained how he came to Tangiers, his experiences of violence, racism and witnessing deaths at the border, constantly threatened by the police in his everyday life whilst living there. The last time SB saw Chris, in 2015, he returned to his family in Gambia. Over the years they stayed in touch. During the lockdown, SB checked in on Chris and his family, to hear unfortunate news of his mother passing. Together Chris and SB are fundraising to improve his families chances of a better life by providing the funds for his 3 siblings to finish their education, we aim to support Chris starting his own taxi business. The following is by Chris through phone communication with SB who offered to help set up this page to support his financial needs, his dream to start a business that will provide for his family.
“Hello, my name is Chris, I am from The Gambia, West Africa. I am 30 years old, a first child to my parents. I have 3 little siblings, 1 sister and 2 brothers. We lost both parents, and have been struggling on our own for a long time now. I lost my father when I was a teenager, which meant there was not enough money for my education to continue. There was no choice but to leave school to support my mother and younger siblings. For a while I worked in a restaurant, however the money was not enough to support my family.
I want to take this chance to ask you for your help. My sister is losing out on her education and her friendships, ever since she left school in 2018. I am looking to fundraise to be able to immediately cover the costs of all 3 of my siblings school fees, as well as to start up my own business that will continue to provide my family with a good education and food so that our lives can improve.
Here is my story:
I have tried my best over the years, in 2013 my friend invited me to Morocco to be able to have a better life for my family and myself. Everything changed through this experience.
I left my family behind to travel over 3000km to Casablanca, to start a new life in Morocco.
By the time I was 24, Europe felt like the only option for me to be able to earn enough money where I can provide. I thought it would be simple for me to get to Europe, I imagined I would be able to work and send money back to my family.
First when I went to cross at the fences in Cueta. It is possible to cross the border to Spain, many people try to get across this way. I soon realised that the force used against us was more threatening than the sea, I saw people beaten to death even when they had made it onto Spanish land, others made it across but were sent straight back to the Moroccan Police. Whether a person is trying to cross or trying to survive away from the border, they are forcefully removing people, and those who survive are not deported to their home country, but from North to the desert in the South of Morocco. There were many people struggling just as I did, which is when I decided to try to cross by boat.
I risked my life a number of times to cross by using a small rubber dinghy with at least 7 others trying to do the same, to cross so that we could provide for our families back home. We failed each time we tried.
When I went by boat again, I ended up in the sea, I realised that I was so close to death. This was the last time I took a boat, instead I tried to improve my family's life by working in Morocco. There are problems to do this too because of the lack of human rights for Black Africans. There are struggles in this system, where as a migrant, you need to pay to get a card which means you can get work. The police harass migrant workers, they cause trouble for employers which then creates more barriers for Sub-Saharan Africans to get work. I kept trying all I could do to be able to earn enough for my own rent. food as well as to send money to my family but it was extremely hard to make enough.
After these attempts, I went back to The Gambia. At first it was so nice to be at home with my family, but I needed to find ways to provide again. My mother fell ill, she caught Malaria, lost a lot of weight and I needed to do something. I began working on a construction site and tried my best to make the money to improve her health as well as provide for my siblings. It’s a very painful manpower job which affects my health. Unfortunately, despite working as much as possible, there was not enough time to be able to improve my mother's condition and she passed away in February 2020.
My vision to be able to support my family was what caused me to risk my life attempting to cross to Europe. Now I am to try my best again in The Gambia. If I have this taxi, I will not be sick from hard labor and it will be our source of survival, it will change our living situation.
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