“Mordi Precious, Nigerian, came to Italy in 2011 from Lybia.” My Name is Precious Mordi, I was born in 1989 and I am Nigerian, I hailed from Ubulu-Uku precisely.
I left Nigeria to Libya in the year 2008; there I worked as a baby sitter, a sales girl in a restaurant and as a house cleaner. Life there was so and so, until the war came and I left Libya for Italy.
I arrived in Italy (Lampedusa) with the help of my Lybian employer in the year 2011 and I was received by the Italian government at first. Later, I was handed over to Diaconia Valdese. From May 2011 to end 2012, within the so-called “Emergenza Nord Africa” program, I lived in a flat together with other 7 Nigerians in Torre Pellice (Turin).
At first it was not easy because of the language barrier, but thanks to God some of them understood English, so that makes it a little bit easier for me. Later they gave me an opportunity to work with them: I started as a volunteer with the “Estate ragazzi” activities (children summer camp). It was not easy again, but it gave me an open door to learn Italian Language from the children, they helped me a lot. After that I got a 1 year contract job from Diaconia Valdese, working with disabled people and children. To round it all up my host organisation was a source of inspiration to me: they gave me future here in Italy, they made me go to school and associate with people… I thank God for the day he made me come in contact with them.
Now I am collaborating with a Nigerian TV project in Turin and I do some other jobs here in Piedmont.
“Yagoub Kibeida comes from Sudan and was granted asylum in the Netherlands. He currently lives in Italy, where he works with refugees and asylum seekers.”
My experience as a refugee did not begin in Italy, but in the Netherlands. I applied for asylum in the nineties, but at the time, many Dutch citizens did not know where Sudan was. The Dutch seemed a bit strange to me: I couldn’t understand why they were so straightforward and at the same time, they needed so much time to make a decision.
I like the Dutch, because they keep their word. To understand them, I read a really interesting book called „Dealing With The Dutch“.
In the Netherlands, you must go through two phases to earn asylum. Firstly, there is the AC (first admission) and then comes the „AZC“ (second admission). I spent four months in these two phases. Then, I was granted a residence permit. In the second phase starts the „naturalisation programme“, which involves active citizenship and language courses.
At the end of the second phase, the refugee lives in his own accommodation under the responsability of the social services of the city in which he lives. He is treated like a Dutch citizen.
Social assistance is unlimited, but the refugee also has duties as, for example, learning the Dutch language, doing a vocational training course and finishing university. If he does not graduate, he has to do his best to find a job.
In the Netherlands, I have worked as a volunteer for the social services in order to help the refugees, whose difficulties are different from those met by the refugees in Italy. Then, I have also organised events and parties. Furthermore, I have worked with the Sudanese Human Rights Organization, where I dealt with various cases of Sudanese people both in Sudan and in the Netherlands. These were mostly people who endured long waiting periods. Finally, I could prevent the expulsion of many refugees.
Today I live in Turin, Italy, where I work together with the Diaconia Valdese and other organisations on aid and support projects for refugees and asylum seekers.