Last week, two representatives of the CIMADE came to visit the 3e International class. They brought with them a special guest, a young man, Madji, who has just arrived after an 11 month journey from Sudan. For an hour he talked about his experiences and the students asked him questions about his life and his future.
Here are some extracts from writing the 3e students did after Madji’s visit.
Why did you want to leave Dafur ?
I always dreamed of a better future and Sudan is a very dangerous, very corrupt, very bad place.
NB : The current ruler of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, is wanted for genocide and crime against humanity.
Did you go to school ?
In Sudan students can go to school for free up to the age of 13. I went to university and I studied French, English and Arabic. I would like to be able to continue my education.
How did your family feel about you leaving ?
My family did not want me to go because they were scared for me. But I had to do it, I had no choice, I did it for my future.
Why did you want to come to France ?
I think French people are magnificent ! I love the French language. A French journalist helped me and now the CIMADE is helping me.
What countries did you go through and what was the hardest part of your journey ?
I went through Chad and Libya. That was the worst. We were captured and taken prisoner and another Sudanese man who was not doing anything was shot right in front of my eyes. It was horrible.
And then ?
Then my brother in Saudi Arabia helped send me some money and I could take a boat to Italy. We were about 140 people in a very small boat. Very small. We were rescued by the Aquarius. The boat saved us. It took us to Italy.
NB : The Aquarius is operated by SOS Méditerranée and is the only active rescue ship which operates during the winter.
How did you get to France ?
A French journalist on board the ship helped me when I was two months in Ventimiglia. Now the CIMADE helps me.
And now ?
I would like to get my papers to be a refugee and then study at the university. Maybe I would like to go to England to see my favourite football team, Chelsea play. That would be very nice.
Madji’s tale was an eye-opener to the whole class and helped acquaint them with the troubles and difficulties of being an immigrant in a country without papers.
Read the other things the 3e students wrote here. Some wrote articles, while others imagined what Madji’s journey must have been like...