Early morning at the airport in Frankfurt am Main. Mohammed S. pushes a full trolley through the almost empty departure lounge, and speaks to Ivica Marosevic from the regional council in Karlsruhe. The repatriation advisor doesn’t always personally accompany those who have decided to return home this far, but in these times of corona he stays by the side of Mohammed S. until his plane takes off. The Gambian looks happy. He only gets somewhat flustered when he is told at the check-in desk that the suitcases, which he has packed after years away from his home country, are too heavy. He and Marosevic think about what best to do. Some of his luggage will have to be sent by post.
Working together to find solutions – something which Mohammed S. and his repatriation advisor have always done ever since February 2020, when they spoke with each other for the first time about the 44-year-old Gambian’s wish to return home. Mohammed S. was then living in the Baden-Württemberg arrival centre in Heidelberg. He travelled to Europe at the end of 2015, and spent his first few years in Italy before coming to Germany. His desire to return to Gambia grew stronger over time. He missed his wife and four children. They live in his home town of Sare Hamadi in the Upper River Region in the east of the small African country.