Voices on the Move

Balade camp, Bossaso. Photo:Pooja Bhalla
August 14, 2012 Written by: Pooja Bhalla

“…whatever comes with my travel comes…”
Yusuf is a 20 year old single Oromo male of Ethiopian nationality who made his way from Harar, Ethiopia to Bossaso a month ago with a dream to cross the sea to Saudi Arabia even if that meant leaving his aligning father alone.

“My two brothers left some time ago but I do not know where they are. The case at home is very bad. There is no  hope for young people…no jobs …it does not matter how much you study.

My mother died when I was very young. I had to leave school and do small work like a cleaner of the garden of rich people. Then my brothers left. I felt bad they did not take me with them.

One day I said I also want what these Amhara rich people have…nice music things, phones, cars.  My father, he was too old and always sick. He could not buy me these things. I knew then I must make my own life. I did not tell him. I left. I know he would have stopped me….I still have not telephoned him. I must move on…

I came by car to Hargesia, I paid 500 (Ethiopian) Birr (U.S.D 28). First there were Ethiopians who took me to a place they said that was the end of Ethiopia. These people, everybody knows that they can help you to get out of Ethiopia.  Then some men, Somali, took me to Hargesia. They were nice people but did not speak too much.  In Hargesia, these (Somali) men told me where to go to find money. They said go work (casual labour as porters / constriction etc…) and then we will tell you where to go for Saudi Arabia.

After a little time I had money and went to Bossaso by a big bus. I paid money but the men, the ones who brought me to Hargesia, they took some (extra) money also.

 I came to Bossaso because I heard that I can cross away from Africa.  Once I save money I will go. I know that it is very dangerous but I come from more problem…I know that they will arrest me in Saudi Arabia but I have heard that if I find work on a farm where police does not come. These Arabs….they are lazy and pay good for their work to be done. I know of people who can take me there, they have told me the price…now I just need to get the money.

I don’t want to be a refugee here…there is nothing here. I  left to go to Saudi Arabia so I will go…I am excited about going across the sea. Even if war in Yemen…whatever comes with my travel comes…”

Contact Us

Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat
DRC East Africa & Great Lakes
Lower Kabete Road
(Ngecha Road Junction)
P.O.Box 14762, 00800
Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 709867 000


Subscribe to our monthly email alerts with mixed migration summaries, maps, feature articles and other new RMMS publications

Follow RMMS



Our Donors


The RMMS is primarily funded by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss government and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development , with support from other donors for specific projects.