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Economic Empowerment, Impact Stories, Uncategorized

Letter from Niger – Peter’s Story

This story was reconstructed based on an interview with Peter (false name), who temporarily settled in Niger as a refugee waiting for resettling to the third country. Good Neighbors Niger is conducting a project named “Farm-Up Project for ETM Persons of Concern (PoCs) & Host Community” in collaboration with the UNHCR. This project supports the livelihood of PoCs under the Emergency Evacuation Transit Mechanism (ETM) and helps them to learn job skills through vocational trainings. In 2017, UNHCR established ETM to evacuate and facilitate the processing of the most vulnerable refugees trapped in detention in Libya.

My name is Peter. I am from South Sudan. I am pleased to inform you that I am scheduled to be resettled in one country in Northern Europe. I left my country because of the tribalism war, which started in 2013. I was in primary school when the wars started, and I ran to a refugee camp where I continue to study until grade 8. I wanted to go to Europe via Libya because my life in my home country was difficult, and I also wanted to continue my study, which could not have lasted if I were in South Sudan.

I stayed in Libya for 3 years, and I was arrested and put in jail 3 times after I tried to cross the sea clandestinely for going to Europe. I tried many times to escape from jail. At last, UNHCR took me and brought me to Niger after I succeeded in passing an interview. I came to the Hamdallaye ETM camp. I am the only person from South Sudan in a zone of the camp. Due to the language barrier, I cannot speak other people’s language. Sometimes I feel alone.

The farming activities in the camp made a lot of changes in my life. I wake up early every day to go to the farm. As everyone has his own plot with the name tag, no one will arrange my plot. With this farming works, I feel I became a responsible man. In the camp, we are jobless, and it is very stressful. However, starting to go to work at the farm, I feel not stressed anymore. Also, it is terrific to work together with other people while making good relations with them. Good Neighbors also helped us be acquainted with surrounding village people.

Last month, I was happy to receive FCFA 10,000 (about USD 18.51) as an income. I helped some of my friends with the money. The money of FCFA 20,000 (about 37.02), received as labor compensation, is wonderful because I will use it to buy shoes, clothes, and food. At first, I did not perceive the benefits of this activity, but now I feel my work was successful. I believe that other Person of Concerns (PoCs) must be interested in this activity once I inform them.

I want to say thank you very much for all these supports because Good Neighbors came and motivated us to learn farming knowledge. Now we know how to produce Onion, Tomato, Moringa, and Cabbage. Also, the training certificate will help us find a job easily. Thanks to Good Neighbors, many PoCs are now studying in classrooms. Many PoCs would not have learned how to read and write without their support. Thank you very much, Good Neighbors!

All our response is possible thanks to your support. Please join us to save lives and keep the safety of children and the vulnerable.

Good Neighbors Country Website