Meet Jeffrey

Jeffrey at a cafe in Viterbo, Italy. 1 December 2017. © 2018 Pamela Kerpius

Jeffrey at a cafe in Viterbo, Italy. 1 December 2017. © 2018 Pamela Kerpius

 


Meet Jeffrey.

36 years old and from Edo State, Nigeria.

To reach Italy he crossed three countries: Nigeria, Niger, and the most dangerous of all, Libya.

His journey took nine months, eight of which were in Libya where he worked at a car wash. It was dangerous there and he was even stabbed in the hand. 

Jeffrey’s story, for now, is short because we had only passing moments together during my visit with Charles, his housemate and friend, in their transfer city north of Rome. Like the others, his journey required him to cross the Sahara desert and endure extreme danger in Libya. 

 
People need
to learn to
understand one another.
 


Jeffrey crossed the Mediterranean Sea in a rubber dinghy and was saved by an NGO vessel sometime during the day on 5 May 2017; he was then transferred to the Guardia Costiera before landing in Lampedusa on 7 May 2017.

After being processed at the Lampedusa hotspot on 7 May he met his friends Charles (32, Nigeria) and Emmanuel (24, Nigeria). Last fall, the three of us talked at a cafe in a small city north of Rome where they live.

Jeffrey said they are missing cultural orientation. He and the others have having difficulty integrating with the community, “People need to learn to understand one another,” he said.

Jeffrey is an amazing human being.

 
 
In Viterbo, Italy; 1 December 2017. © Pamela Kerpius

In Viterbo, Italy; 1 December 2017. © Pamela Kerpius