A friend of The Gambia: Lia Leaf’s advice to Gambian youths who want to take the ‘Back Way’

Written by Lia Leaf


As-salāmu ‘Alaykum my name is Lia I am from Vienna, Austria.

I just saw the Video 'Back Way' and my first question was: what is the meaning of 'Back Way'?

And my second question was: how much money does it cost to come to Europe illegally?

I heard that some people pay more than 1000€, this is about 53,858.41 Dalasi.  I think this is a lot of money in The Gambia and in Europe (or in the whole world).

For example: most people here earn about 800-1000€ in the month and have to pay about 500-700€ for the rent, 100-200€ for gas and electricity and the food is also very expensive here.  To go out and make party also costs much money... so you see there is not much left to have a relaxed life or to save some money for bigger things (like a car or holidays).

So I asked myself 'why people are doing this?'

They make this long hard trip with many dangerous situations and many of them pay with their lives - and for what?

Even when they make it to Europe, they just have to suffer more - they are not allowed to stay legal - they have to be hiding from the Police, so that they are deported back to The Gambia. They live without money and food in very small rooms with many other people.

Is this a happy, fulfilled life?

I really tried to understand it - I think most Africans, Asians, South Americans... have a false picture of European reality.

We don´t have too much money, we don´t have too much jobs - and the life is not better here, than anywhere else on planet Earth, especially when you leave all your beloved family and friends at home.

It is true we have clean streets, nice houses, a good health system – but you cannot use it when you don't have much money.

Even me as a European, I am looking forward to live my life somewhere else, where family is still more worth than money, where old people don‘t go to retirement homes, where humanity is more worth than money. Here in Europa you are useless without money.

I hope you understand my points.

Best regards,