Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note: One of the most difficult situations Europe faces is how to handle to massive influx of migrants escaping the African continent. Determining the true reason for those escaping Africa is a task in itself as there are countless reasons for the dangerous trek north. Those in Niger have attempted to understand the real reason for their travels by setting a ‘pit stop’ to provide job training and other support to migrants heading to Europe. At the same time if allows for at least a small few to be vetted and understand whether they are escaping persecution or traveling for other purposes. As Islamic extremism plagues the continent, killing and kidnapping Christians and other religious minorities, many use religious persecution as a scapegoat to flee their hardships. Those who do so reduce the potency of what Christians face daily in their respective countries. 

11/11/2015 Africa (New York Times) – Along the Sahara trail that tens of thousands of Africans take each year to reach the shores of Italy, Europe is paying for a pit stop, of sorts — one that it hopes will give these young people on the move a reason to go back home.

The center sits in Niger — in a city bustling with thousands of migrants risking everything to reach Europe — with a tough mission. It gambles that by giving the migrants heart-to-heart talks about the dangers ahead, then teaching them job skills that they can use at home, like how to make bricks out of sand and plastic, it can help stanch the exodus of Africans seeking a better life in Europe.

“Of course, we cannot match their dream of being in Italy,” said Giuseppe Loprete, Niger mission chief for the International Organization for Migration, which runs the center. “But we can give them a local development project.”

As leaders from Europe and Africa meet in the medieval fortress city of Valletta, the Maltese capital, on Wednesday, they will tussle over an urgent issue that affects both of their continents, though in sharply different ways: What to do about the tens of thousands of young Africans who try to cross a treacherous desert and sea in the hope of brighter prospects in Europe.

Europe is legally obliged to take in refugees escaping war, but not migrants who cannot make a compelling case that they are fleeing conflict or persecution. So European leaders are dangling the promise of development aid and scholarships for college students, hoping to get African countries to keep their would-be migrants at home — and to take back others who have already made it to Europe.

At the summit meeting this week, 80 African and European leaders are expected to adopt a plan that includes the promise of “a tailor-made package of support” for countries that cooperate with the European Union and take their failed asylum seekers back.

But for the migrants and the countries they come from, the incentives may not be enough to compete with the billions of dollars that workers send back to their families — and thus the economies of their home nations. The World Bank expects the nations of sub-Saharan Africa to receive about $33 billion in remittances this year alone, compared with nearly $47 billion in aid from nations around the world.

(Full Article)