EU money is just keeping migrants hanging around.

Her story could have relevance on almost any day, but the recent tragedy of a fishing boat that sank in Greek waters, burying 600 migrants in the Mediterranean, gives her absolute significance. If I had a minimal knowledge of everything I would experience on the road, Othman Omar He was not going to leave Ghana, his home country. They sold him the idea that heaven is in Europe. But no one warned him that, to get to it, he would have to go through hell.

He arrived in Fuerteventura by boat when he was 17 years old. It’s easy to say, but it was a long journey of great pain in which he thought many times he was going to die, as did many of the people who traveled with him. Dying of thirst in the desert or drowning in the sea. He did not know that he had reached Spain, only that he had finally reached the other shore, in Eden.

Since he descended as a minor, he had the right to remain in the country. He still didn’t know how to speak Spanish. They asked him where he wanted to live in Spain. And if he ends up living in Barcelona, ​​it is because he once watched a Champions League match where Barcelona were playing on TV. That was all he knew about the nation. And to that destination they sent him.


I didn’t know anyone there. He spent months sleeping on the street, unable to get a job, his real goal. One day he approached a woman to ask her for the address of a Red Cross unit. She didn’t understand him, and they didn’t speak the same language. The woman called her husband and worked as a translator. The couple wanted to help Omar and, after many discussions, decided to adopt him before he reached the age of majority. Without this help, most likely, your reality would be different.

Ghanaian children study with NASCO Feeding Minds resources


Once in the system, he had the opportunity to get a job repairing bicycles and paying for his studies. He understood that education is a vital tool for progress. That’s why he founded the NGO NASCO Feeding Mindsthat educates young people in Ghana.

“Immigrants come for three things: lack of training, information and job opportunities. The NGO you created is exactly what you do Training, information and job creation. “I took this responsibility,” Omar told ABC from Barcelona. He does everything in his power to prevent others from repeating the same miserable and dangerous journey he underwent, a journey he recounts in his book From the Country of the Eggs (Janis Square).

TOP PHOTO - Computer classes in Ghanaian rural schools provided by Osman Omar NGO
Secondary Image 1 - Computer classes in Ghanaian rural schools provided by Osman Omar NGO
Secondary Image 2 - Computer classes in Ghanaian rural schools provided by Osman Omar NGO
Computer classes in Ghanaian rural schools provided by Osman Omar NGO

He has succeeded in persuading companies, which usually renew their technology equipment about every five years, to donate these “obsolete” computers to him, and with them he has provided computer classes in rural schools in Ghana.

“After a decade, there are more than fifty Ghanaian schools that can benefit from our 17 computer labs,” Omar says. “This is where the guys who can code appeared.” In addition, his NGO, which does not receive subsidies from any country, has developed a project so that these programmers can stay in their home cities and work for foreign companies – Spanish among them – without having to get on boats, jump fences or emigrate. Offering their knowledge in exchange for an economic income through which they can develop their community. «Because they are the ones who will change it, neither you nor I. This model shows that the solution to the migration crisis is not at sea, nor here in Spain, it is in the country of origin.”

Remains of a shipwreck at Steccato di Cutro near Crotone, Italy


Immigration business

Omar becomes skeptical when he hears news such as the destruction of boats belonging to gangs that traffic people in Libya. He believes that these types of measures that seek to prevent the departure of illegal immigrants are more propaganda than effectiveness. Nor does he consider the millions of euros that the European Union will give Tunisia for border management and combating human trafficking really useful.

“When I was in Algeria, the police arrested me and changed my name ten times,” Omar says. “Every time they change my name, they take me to a different prison and tell the press that I am a new immigrant. After a few days I understood that they did it because they were charged based on the people they arrested. Europe paid ten times more for the arrest of a person. Also, when they left me at the financial border, I had to pay others who were no longer dressed as cops $150 to take me back to the same place. In this sense, I understand that the European Union has no choice but to send 100 million euros to Tunisia, but what my experience has shown me is that this money only serves to keep us hanging around. When those millions are gone, they will let people out to get attention and ask for more money. We are a currency exchange.

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