MOAS – #SavedAtSea

Zahra, Bakary, Juliette and Anyasodar are just few of the over 33,000 men, women and children that MOAS has rescued and met on our ships in the last two and a half years. They are human beings, just like us; each of them with a personal story of survival, ambition, dreams, sorrow, adventures and misfortunes. They are stories of people that have seen their lives endangered by wars, terrorism, poverty, hunger or natural disasters, and who have decided not to give up despite all this. They decided to risk everything by crossing the sea in desperate conditions, and to fight for a better life.

Thousands of other stories like these will remain forever untold, lost at the bottom of the sea together with the bodies of those who did not make it. It is also in their honor that we give voice to the people who are #SavedAtSea: a series of short portraits told in first person by those that we have managed to rescue from the waves.

Zahra, Chad, #SavedAtSea

“I am originally from Chad, but I have lived in Libya since I was 6. My father migrated to Libya to work as a security officer for the government and all my family followed him. Libya was a rich and stable country and my father had a good job. I had a good life there. Everything changed so quickly when the war broke out and people were protesting Gaddafi. My family and I were constantly being threatened because we were still loyal. My father was shot dead in his house by opponents to the regime. Then one day they started shooting at our house and that’s when I decided that I needed to leave. There was no way I could go back to Chad from uncontrolled Libya and staying was not an option. Crossing the sea was my last and only chance to seek safety. I risked my life because I want to give my son a chance for his future.”

Bakary, Gambia, #SavedAtSea 

“My name is Bakary and I’m originally from Gambia. I am 30 years old. Before I fled my home I was a driver for an intelligence officer in the NIA, the National Intelligence Agency. There was a coup in my country back in 2014. One of Gambia’s former military commanders had plotted to overthrow the authoritarian government of Jammeh but he failed to topple the leader. It didn’t take long for the government to start suspecting people of being involved. The officer I drove for was arrested and put in jail by the government. Before they took him he told me I should leave the country because they would be after me too. I left just in time and took my wife and family with me to Senegal. It was a hard decision but I had to leave them there. I need to support them financially so I chose to take ‘the back way’ to Europe.”

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Juliette, Benin, #SavedAtSea

“When I first stepped on this ship I was overwhelmed. I escaped Libya boarding a rubber boat, assuming it would reach land in a matter of hours. I don’t know how long I spent there, but after two nights I was coming to terms with my own death, and so were all my fellow passengers on the dinghy. I couldn’t imagine that I would make it. I was in tears when I was rescued, and people around me were trying to comfort me, saying that I was finally safe. But my tears were ones of joy! I spent 5 months in Libya, I was kidnapped and I cannot tell what I’ve been through. Once I reach land, I wish to track down and call my twin daughters. I haven’t spoken with them since my kidnapping. I want to hear their voices and I hope they can join me here sooner or later.”

Anyasodar, Nigeria, #SavedAtSea

“My name is Anyasodar and I come from Nigeria. I’m 42 years old and I have 6 children. Back in Nigeria, I was working in the mining business. Then Boko Haram came and razed the whole area. I lost my job, I lost everything. Two of my children died in one of their attacks. Jobless, I couldn’t provide my family with food or an education, or even medical treatment. Leaving was my last, desperate, alternative. I fled through the desert with a friend of mine and many others. Some of them died of dehydration on the way. We were given no water by the smugglers. I’ve seen too much dying; I can’t take any more. Enough is enough. I only want to give my children a better future, a better life than mine: they deserve it. I will work to earn money to send to them. I want to go to Germany. God is leading my way.”

 

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