We’ve got feet, not roots

Humankind has never settled. Humans have always been wanderers, and the species of the last 6 million did not make an exception. We’ve always been migrants, in several different ways. So why do the events in the Mediterranean sea come to people as such a shock?

Among all the tragic stories that JLP has to deal with every day, there is one with a silver lining. It’s the story of Muhammed, and today we want to share it with you.

Muhammed is a 24 years old boy from South Sudan, he loves music and creating tones for song’s musical bases.  Music is his greatest passion and it is able to free his mind from several memories that he would only like to erase. Based on what he told us, music has saved him more than one time.

JLP has met Muhammed when he had already “saved” himself. He was in Malta and had already been there for two months. Back then, our organization was working on a project and it was essential for us to find the witness of someone who had already made it through. Thanks to other JLP contacts, we got in touch with Muhammed and started to talk with him. Right away it was clear that behind that messy English, there was a boy with an incredible sense of humanity and sensitivity, who at the same time hided a complicated and agonizing story.          
To save is the verb that we must use to talk about Muhammed and all those who, just like him, face desperate journeys full of pain and loneliness.                
Muhammed has made it through that day of June 2019 because he was able to save himself from the tortures that he had to face for a whole year in Tajoura, because he managed survive unlike his friends, who have been shot with guns in front of him, just because they refused to undergo forced labour; he made it because he managed to defeat the energy of the sea.  
Muhammed, after a hellish journey from South Sudan to Libya and up until Europe, has made it through.

Too often, especially in this historical period, migrants have become our escape goats, our relief valve: “Why don’t they stay home, right where there where they belong?”, “they only come here to steal our job!”, “If only did they start working in their country, they wouldn’t need to come here in Europe!” 
The answer to all these statements might be found if we make the effort to try to understand how the situation really is back there where they belong, where their “home” is placed.

Muhammed comes from South Sudan and what is happening there is one of the worst humanitarian crisis that history has ever faced: 1.6 million of internal displaced people forced to flee to save themselves from slaughters and battles, 40.000 malnourished children whose lives are at risk every day, 200.000 people trapped in the camps for displaced people located all over the country. These numbers are the consequence of a rough civil conflict which has blown up in 2013 and is still going on, and which has created a real food catastrophe, due to the lack of resources in the whole country.

Now would you stay where you belong, in you “house”, even if this were a place hit by an unprecedented economic crisis and where you would struggle every single day fearing to be killed or to die of starvation?

Muhammed decided to find a new home, a new shelter where he could wake up in the morning being sure that he would fall asleep in the same bad in the evening. He decided to flee with the risk of losing his own life to help his mother and sister that he hasn’t seen once in four years because they stayed in the UN refugee camp in Juba, that is the capital city of South Sudan; he undertook his journey hoping that one day in the future he would reunite with his two brothers, even if he has no idea of where they might be. He did it because he doesn’t have roots, but he has feet and his feet have brought him towards his freedom, in a place where his dignity as a human being is recognised.

Right now, Muhammed is out of that dark tunnel and is trying to recover the light that he had lost working odd jobs that give him the possibility to be economically independent. Furthermore, JLP wishes to keep going along with him throughout his still troubled path, trying to offer him, when possible, new opportunities, so that one day he might be able to realise his greatest wish: to open his own recording studio.

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