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From Africa to Italy: An Immigrant’s Story For A Better Life

Photo taken by Kenzie Kesselring/THE SPECTATOR

Christopher has now been Italy for a year; however, he has not had any luck finding employment. In Italy, if you do not have documents from the government giving you permission to work, you are completely unemployable.

Migrants to Italy are given a lawyer to help them try and receive their documents so they can begin working as soon as possible. He has had one court case already but the outcome was not good. Christopher did not receive the papers giving him permission to work, so for now he makes his living begging around Montepulciano, Italy. He sends the majority of the money he is able to make back to his family in Nigeria. Christopher is a skilled at laying tile and is hoping to find a job doing this once he receives his papers from the government.

Christopher is a small and quiet man and while talking about his journey to Italy, he expresses solitude. He mentions God in nearly every question he answered and comes across as a very faithful man. Although solemn, it is obvious that he is hopeful about his future.

“I’ve learned a lot of things, and all of the things I have endured have really strengthen me,” said Christopher.

When discussing his plans for the future, Christopher revealed that he is remaining hopeful for this next trial, but if he is unable to obtain employment papers, he will be forced to move to another country where he might have more luck.

Christopher said he frequently notices racism in the way he is treated by Italians when trying to live the life he came to Italy to find. The language barrier between him and the Italians around him makes it difficult for him to communicate, so he hasn’t made too many Italian friends.

Christopher lives in an apartment with several other African immigrants. They all come from different culture and religious backgrounds within Africa, but they seem to bond over the struggles they are facing.

It’s easy to wonder why men like Christopher make the long and dangerous journey to Italy only to have their expectations fall flat once they arrive. However, Christopher said that the risk is worth it because the conditions in his home country were only getting worse.

Christopher and all of his fellow immigrants are seeking freedom, employment, and an all around better life here in Italy. Although many of them have not had much luck yet, Christopher said it has still been worth the journey.

You can read up on her previous adventure HERE.

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