Image 1 of 1
Prince Massaquio, a 25 year old from Liberia. He fought as a child soldier in Liberia and SIerra Leone. After the war he lived in a refugee camp in Guinea Conakry. He arrived in Mali in 2001 and travelled to Algeria. He crossed the desert and reached Ouxda in Morocco. After three months in an Algerian prison he returned to Niamey's Gam Kale neighbourhood, a Liberian ghetto. Many youths throughout West Africa dream of making the journey to Europe where they believe they will be able to make a life for themselves and send money home to their families. For this they are willing to risk their lives in a perilous journey across the Sahara Desert and then by rickety boats to Europe. The reality is that they are prey to exploitation throughout the journey and for those making the final sea voyage death by drowning is a common fate. Even those reaching the fabled European shore are usually returned after a prolonged period incarcerated in a migrants detention centre. Niamey has become a staging post where groups of young men often become stranded as they try to raise the funds necessary to continue their journey.