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Living homeless: A young Gambian immigrant struggling with unemployment
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Living homeless: A young Gambian immigrant struggling with unemployment

Like other young Gambian immigrants in Spain, Bob came to Sweden to work and make money for his family, but found himself spending a night on a cold street in Stockholm.

He was a teenager, when his dad put him on a plane from The Gambia, to join him in Spain in hopes of achieving a better life. Bob is now living in Sweden. Our reporter stumbled upon him in Alby, a popular immigrant suburb in Stockholm.

What’s On-Gambia: When did you arrive in Sweden?

 Bob: I arrived on the 8th August, 2013, after five years in Spain living with my father. He brought me to Spain to look for better opportunities. I went to a vocational school to learn electricity.

Why are you in Sweden?

The unemployment rate in Spain is very high and is not easy for many immigrants. I was told that Sweden has a lot of jobs, but I later realized they also have a lot of unemployed immigrants.

Do you have any relative or friend in this country?

No. The first day I arrived, I slept in a street close to the Stockholm City Centre (T-Centralen). Thank God, it was not very cold. That was the first time in my life to sleep outside.

The next day, I went to a mosque nearby to pray and there I met a guy from Casamance with relatives in Sintet, Foni. I explained to him my condition and he took me to an apartment in Blackeberg, Stockholm. I paid close to 1500 krona to sleep on one of the sofas for a month. I later moved to Ösmo, also in Stockholm, to share a room with a Ghanaian and that is where I still live. I am paying 1500 krona per month.

Are you working?

I’m still unemployed.  All that they told me about Sweden is lies. They also have their own unemployment problems. The language barrier is a major obstacle for me.

Who is helping you pay your rent?

My father sends me money at the end of every month. Is not easy, but he is the only one who can help me.

Did you try to find out if you have any relative in Sweden that you might not know?

Yes, there is a boy who I met who is a distant relative, but unfortunately he was not ready to help. I guess maybe he has his own problems too.

What is your advice to young Gambians who want to migrate to Europe?

To be honest, I don’t know what to tell them. They hardly believe some of the difficulties we encounter. May God bless all the young people of our country!

God luck!

Thank you so much.


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