My Family Sold Everything so I Could Travel to Europe

“I am very happy, I really like the freedom I have now”, says Daniel, an Eritrean migrant who was relocated to the Netherlands. Daniel lives in an asylum seekers centre, but will move to a Dutch municipality within a few weeks. Together with a ‘buddy’ he is mapping out his new life, aiming for an academic career.

The story of Daniel1 starts in Asmara, the largest city in Eritrea. Two months before finishing his studies, he left Eritrea, because of the political instability. He paid a lot of money to smugglers to travel to Sudan, Libya, and finally Europe. “My family sold everything to enable me to travel to Europe. Two of my brothers have already left and are living in the UK”. After eight hours on a small boat in the Mediterranean Sea, Daniel was rescued and arrived on Lampedusa.

After Lampedusa, he was brought to Sicily and then to Rome. In Rome, he spent half a year in a first reception centre where he shared a room with eight people. The two and a half euros Daniel received daily he spent on mobile internet to remain in touch with his family.

From Italy, Daniel was relocated to the Netherlands. After arrival, he was brought to an asylum seeker centre where he became friends with two other Eritreans. “Soon, my Eritrean friends and I will be housed together in a nearby municipality”.

Although he could not be relocated to the UK to join his two brothers, Daniel says he is happy. “What helps me a lot is the ‘buddy to buddy programme’”. Daniel meets his ‘buddy’ weekly to learn the Dutch language and extend his social network.
Daniel says he wants to finish his Dutch language course and then his education. “After two or three years, I would like to live in a larger city where there is a university, such as Nijmegen. My dream is to study computer engineering”.

Interested to read more about Daniel or about Relocation to the Netherlands in general?

[1] ‘Daniel’ is a pseudonym. The name of the migrant has been changed to protect his identity.