He said: “There is no denying the allure of the back way, the possibilities that life in Europe could afford. But, I appeal to you to take a different route, and in some ways a more difficult one. I urge you to stay. Your people need you. Your country is counting on you. Remain in The Gambia and commit yourself to your education. I encourage you to band together with your peers to contribute to the development of your homeland. With your collective action, there is no limit to the promise of this country. My colleagues and I at the US Embassy are dedicated to connecting the young people with opportunities for advancement and growth. We offer several fellowships and exchange programmes for study in the United States, many of which are publicised on our Facebook page. We encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities and gain the skills necessary to create your own success story right here in The Gambia.
“Those who have left are your brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. They could have been your future leaders, your future doctors, teachers and lawyers. The truth is The Gambia is losing its best and brightest to the ‘back way’. Part of the reason for this is that a huge information gap exists about this sort of migration. The young people of The Gambia may understand that what they are undertaking is somewhat risky, but they do not comprehend the full extent of the danger. The cost alone for this journey is staggering. Some Gambians are paying up to D100,000 to embark on this voyage. Such a monumental amount of money wasted for the over 700 Gambian migrants this year who have failed to reach Europe, returning back to their home country dejected and even poorer than they were before. The ‘back way’ is the ultimate gamble with the highest price unfortunately being life.”]]>