A joint partnership has been formed between two NGOs to help educate the youth who illegally migrate through the Mediterranean Sea to arrive in Europe.
The program by Proactiva Open Arms, a Spain based NGO and NASCO, a local based NGO, was under the theme, ‘Migrants Sensitisation and Economic Support Project.’
The two NGOs aim is to sensitise Ghanaians on the dangers associated with illegal migration and a scheme to economically support young people to forestall illegal migration.
Statistics this year indicates that 1.766.186 people reached Europe by sea. The most frequently used route was Italy and Greece. 16.066 people drowned at sea.
One in six victims are children and between April 2014 to April this year, 16,000 people drowned crossing the Mediterranean Sea and died.
During the press encounter for the partnership agreement in Accra, the president of NASCO, Ousman Umar, shared his story of how he left Ghana at the age of 12 to Europe.
He spoke about his five years journey to Europe passing through dead bodies on the desert, battling with what he described as the ‘mafia’ whom he says he won’t advise anyone to go through.
Eventually, Umar though managed to get to Europe. His own arduous endeavours to gain an education at 17 years ignited his passion for helping students in the Nkroasa North district of the Brong Ahafo region.
He is assisting the students in their study of ICT.
“If only I had access to education and had access to information, the ordeal of my life would not have been a five-year hellish journey to a foreign land,” he said.
He admonished the youth to explore and take advantage of the opportunities in the country and Africa.
Umar advised the youth to shun people who lie to them that life in Europe life is easy and rosy to get them to migrate.
The partnership will see the two NGOs invest in education in some communities to enable the students to get a solid foundation to grow.
There will also be sensitization workshops to teach the children how to develop their capabilities and skills in whatever field of endeavour.
Proactiva Open Arms and NASCO belief this will help prevent children and adults from putting their lives at risk by falling into the hands of human traffickers.
The Community Manager of Open Arms, Laura Lanuza, said they choose Ghana Oscar Camps, founder of the Spanish NGO met Umar in 2015 in Barcelona and was touched by his story.
“Knowing well that there are more youths in Ghana aiming to migrate to Europe, we decided to come to Ghana to build this project to provide tools and promote education to their home community,” she said.
Proactive Open Arms works to prevent any human lives are lost while running away from wars, persecution or poverty.