A migrant's journey begins

West African family heartbroken after sending child on treacherous journey to seek a better life in Europe.

    Abdou Diallo has been training to be a mechanic in Senegal's capital, Dakar, for six years - since he was 10 - hoping to one day get a paying job.

    But knowing that his life would likely be spent struggling to earn a small wage, the 16-year-old's parents have taken out a huge loan and sold all of the family possessions so that Abdou can try and make the treacherous journey to Europe.

    While the visa to most European nations cost about $100, Abdou and his family know that Africans are rarely able to obtain such visas.

    So they are paying people smugglers $3,000 to organise the trip, which will include an overland trip into Libya and then onto a boat to cross the Mediterranean.

    It is a trip fraught with danger. Nearly 2,000 migrants are thought to have drowned trying to reach Europe so far this year and more than 10,000 have been rescued.

    Before Abdou leaves his home, his father has some final words of advice.

    "Throw your passport into the sea," he says. "Who you are doesn't matter in Europe. You are there to work. Have faith in God. We love you."

    But Abdou's presence will be greatly missed.

    "No one wants [to] send their son like this," his father Bashir told Al Jazeera.

    "We have nothing, not enough to eat, not enough work. He is what I have. The most precious, he is our hope."

    Watch the video above to see Nicolas Haque's report from Dakar.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.