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RETURN TO ERITREA
Bridge to Better | 27 November 2018
My name is John and I came to the Netherlands to work and support my family in Eritrea. I have a wife and 3 kids back in Eritrea. I thought that The Netherlands would be very open to receive me and I would have great opportunities. While I was in The Netherlands I found out that the reality is completely different than I thought it would be. The Netherlands is a great country for Dutch people or for people who have a permit to stay, but not if you don’t have a permit to stay. Many people are waiting for many years to get asylum and often they still don’t get it. I didn’t want to waste my years anymore in waiting, without knowing the outcome and being away from my family. From a distance you get a very unrealistic idea of The Netherlands. Through all my experiences I really want to warn people in Eritrea to not go to Europe, it is not what you think it is. I am very happy to be back in Eritrea with my family and to be in my own culture and language. If I would have known the reality of Europe, I would never have left Eritrea. Through Bridge to Better I got some money to start my business, it was a very small amount of money but I could at least get my driver license for a truck. Now I drive a truck and I import materials from Ethiopia to Eritrea which helps me to provide for my family. I lost a lot of money by coming to Europe, but I am glad that I could at least get a small amount of money to do something back home. Being back home is priceless, I am very happy with my decision. I get to see my children. Looking back I think coming to Europe was a big accident, it literally felt like in a big car accident. To be in The Netherlands without status is terrible, you have no job, no money, no house, nothing. Therefore I want people in Eritrea to know the reality of it. I am very happy with the help of Bridge to Better to support me in my decision of going back. When I came there in the beginning i was really depressed and down. But being in the process with Bridge to Better and their help of thinking about my future in Eritrea brought me back hope and courage to actually really return.