ARCHIVE (Re-post): First published on 17th September 2017.
Officials of the Migration Office in collaboration with the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (German Red Cross) of Villingen and Schwenningen, on 7th September 2017, organized a conference for Gambian migrants in Germany, dubbed; “Let’s Talk About Gambia.”
The event that was held at the Mariensaal Hall in Donaueschingen City, brought together German residents (participants) from Donaueschingen, Villingen, and surrounding cities, social workers, government representatives, and also Gambian migrants living in Donaueschingen city.
The objective of the conference was to discuss the current situation in The Gambia especially the aftermath of the December 1st, 2016 Presidential election which saw the election into the office of His Excellency President Adama Barrow; the country’s various traditional cultures; youth unemployment; challenges facing the new government; migration issues; and perspectives of the Gambian migrants in Deutschland, etc.
In his opening remarks, Ousman Ndure, chairman of the Gambian residents in Donaueschingen, thanked the organizers of the event for the opportunity accorded to them to voice out their concerns before the German authorities.
He advised the Gambian migrants to always maintain peace and respect the laws of the land so long as they want to live in Germany. He also implored the migrants to work hard to develop themselves and try to integrate into German society.
Presenting a paper on the topic of discussion, Mr. Assan Sallah, a Gambian journalist (former editor of the Daily Observer newspaper) living in Deutschland gave a brief history of The Gambia from the time of independence in the First Republic under His Excellency Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, to the 22-year dictatorship rule under former president Yahya Jammeh, until the election into the office of His Excellency President Adama Barrow.
Sallah also talked about youth unemployment, problems encountered by the youths who embarked on the back way journey, among other issues. He appealed to the German authorities to continue to support refugees, especially Gambians.
According to him, despite the change of government in the Gambia, the country is still facing a lot of challenges such as security challenges, among others. He said the government of President Adama Barrow is doing all efforts to maintain peace and stability and as well put back the country on track, following the political mess that occurred in the aftermath of the December 1st, 2016 Presidential Election.
He used the opportunity to call on all Gambians home and abroad to support the new government to build The Gambia and make it a great country.
Sallah advised Gambian migrants in Germany to try to learn the German Language and integrate themselves easily into society. He also urged the youths to go to school and develop themselves so as to become responsible and productive migrants in Germany and Europe in general.
“Equally you can be very useful to your home country The Gambia when you develop yourself. You must try to explore your potential if you want to become a very productive citizen who will contribute immensely towards the development of your country,” he urged the youths.
He called on the German authorities to give protection to all migrants and refugees and give them chance to continue to go to school.
On her part, Karin Nagel, representative of the District office of Refuge in Migration und Leiterin Ev. Erwachsenenbildung, who is also the chairperson of the Protestant Institution, thanked the participants and Mr. Sallah for a wonderful presentation and for making this event a successful one. She urged the refugees to continue to go to school and try to integrate themselves into German society. She assured of her office’s support and expressed delight at the huge turnout of the participants.
Ludwig Winter, Ehrenamtskoordinator (co-ordinator) Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (Dutch Red Cross) of Villingen and Schwenningen also explained the rationale behind the event. He said it is of great interest for them as Germans to know more about Gambian refugees and their constraints and also the current situation in the Gambia, especially in the aftermath of the election.
He urged Gambians to continue o work hard and become very productive in Germany and Europe in general. He advised all to continue to main peace and respect the laws of the land.
While assuring of their continuous support, Mr. Winter also wished the migrants well in their endeavors.