They wanted to find a better life abroad, but came back to Nigeria after their attempt was unsuccessful. Their stories often include long treks across the Sahara, dangerous boat trips over the Mediterranean or threatening situations involving weapons and rape. Others may have made it to Europe, but found out the hard way that they didn’t have any opportunities there. One way or another, even long after these ordeals, many returnees still struggle with trauma, psychological issues and fears.
Kester Audu is lead advisor for employment and reintegration at the Nigerian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (NGC) in Lagos, and regularly hears returnees telling the details of their traumatic backgrounds. “The situations that these people have experienced really affect me. My first thought when I hear them talk about their awful experiences is that we need to fix this. So we reflect together on what we can do.”