Franck, ACT volunteer in Palermo, Italy

24 years old from Lille, France.

 

“Actually, I feel quite sad the people that don’t see this, because they are so wrong, just having false facts and using them to justify their problems”

 

live in a small town in France where many people have knowledge about the migration issues and have informed me about this topic. A substantial amount of people say that there are too many migrants therefore, that’s a problem. Two months ago, I saw the project that was looking for participants for work with migrants In Palermo, a city in Sicily, where there is a migrant crisis. I thought it would be a good opportunity to know what’s really going on, to know what is happening without relying on the media, fake news and speeches but with my own eyes. Furthermore, I hope that my actions and help will impact the lives of migrants.

Coming from France, I felt that I had to apply to this project, as a citizen commitment because my country has its part of responsibility about what is happening. Reality is far different from what I’ve heard. A few weeks were enough to understand that all I’ve heard before was wrong. To arrive in Europe, flying wars, poverty, famine etc. the trip is not a cruise. A lot a people are dying embarking on these difficult journeys, used by smugglers or arrest by authorities. I’ve heard so many stories since I arrived, about sexual trafficking and mafias sending girls in Europe and controlling them, the journeys on poorly built boats, burning under the sun without food or water. I’ve heard a lot of stories about the conditions for migrants in Libya also and I still don’t understand how someone can do it to people.

And what for all these “lucky” ones that arrive in Europe? They have to face the authorities, the politics, the administration, the close borders, and the racism. The processes of getting the papers, having the right to stay and have at least the hope of getting a job a start their new life they came from, is so stressful and long. They are definitely not treated as equal, but with suspicious and condescension.

Actually, I feel quite sad the people that don’t see this, because they are so wrong, just having false facts and using them to justify their problems. They even forgot they were talking about people and, each time they make a “joke”, they lose part of their humanity.

I wish they could live what I live, see what I see. They are not bad people, I’m sure about it, they just have a wrong vision of the world. Maybe they don’t make enough efforts to try to know the truth, maybe they are just confined in their own world. But I’m sure they can change their minds, and I hope they will do it before it will be too late, whilst we still can help people. 

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