Fatim Jawara was a young goalkeeper with a lot of promise in The Gambia. She was 15 when her national under-17 team qualified for the World Cup in 2012. But being a female professional football player in The Gambia was not easy. There was no official salary and Jawara was teased for being “too manly”.
To pursue a better future, Jawara made a decision to go to Europe in 2016. She crossed the Sahara into Libya. From there, she attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea to get to Italy. Every year, thousands of Gambians take this route, known locally as “the back way”.
Director: Claudia Jardim
Producers: Irene Caselli and Mariangela Maturi
Editors: HyoJin Park and Andrew Phillips
Fixer in The Gambia: Modou Lamin Ceesay
This story was funded by the European Journalism Centre