Kouakou Hervé N’dri’s Story and LISAD Organization in Côte d’Ivoire
In recent months SIHMA came across the story of Kouakou Hervé N’dri. This was thanks to the Professor Ljuba Scuderi, an expert in the Mediterranean migration dynamics who put, Hervé in contact with our organization and with SIHMA’s Executive Director, Fr. Filippo Ferraro.
Hervé is a survivor of trafficking and a returnee to his home country of Côte d’Ivoire. He together with other Ivorians who experienced the same, decided to found an Non-Profit, Non-Governmental Organisation to fight against human trafficking, to create awareness and with the aim of better and safe migration.
Hervé is also the author of a book entitled ‘LA PRISON DE L’IMMIGRATION’, The Immigration Prison, based on his experience as a migrant . This auto-biographical book describes the realities faced by migrants and aims to limit or even stop the trafficking of African youth to unknown destinations . Hervé, without being a professional writer, had the idea to write about his experience in the Arab world and more precisely in Kuwait, as a testimony intended to raise awareness among African youth and advise them against going on an adventure that would put them at risk. The Continent is ‘witnessing a hemorrhage of African brains towards countries that are supposed to be more conducive to economic, financial and social well-being. But often, that dream ends in a nightmare’ ( at p.19- translation). ‘In the desert, as in their homes, we, their workers, are treated like modern day slaves: working 24 hours a day, with no days off… We operate like robots… without counting the humiliation’ ( at p.148- translation).
Kouakou Hervé’s book aims to be a wake-up call for an awareness of the value as Africans. Before leaving Côte d’Ivoire, Hervé observed those Ivorians in the diaspora and their actions in the country once they had returned, and he dreamed of doing the same. He wanted to leave the country for a more welcoming country, with better living and working conditions, decent wages and most of all a country where all human rights are respected. His dream was to work and do business there and then come back, like the Ivorian migrants he was looking up to, and to invest in his country. But his experience did not go as he expected.
That is why, once he returned and had then went on to experience the problems and consequences of being a returnee and the difficulties of the reintegration, together with other returnees Hervé decided to open the NPO by the name of Lutte Contre L’ Immigration Illegale Secours Assistance et Developpement (Fight Against Illegal Immigration Help Assistance and Development) – LISAD.
LISAD was founded on the 2nd of November 2017, and it is a non-profit NGO created on the experience of a group of very enthusiastic and energetic migrants, returned to Côte d’Ivoire. These migrants are not only an example of resilience, but also of proactivity. The organization is still new and growing, they are still working on the organisation’s founding documentations and name, in order to be more efficient, effective and visible.
LISAD’s main goal is to fight against the harmful smuggling of migrants and human trafficking. The specific objective is the prevention through awareness-raising campaigns on: the risks associated with the smuggling of migrants, rescue efforts, psychological counselling, assistance and socio-professional reintegration of returning migrants.
Some of their activities will include training and professional integration of returned migrants, as well as psychological support for those who return as deportees and/or victims of human trafficking, and address their needs for reintegration in to the community.
Another purpose of this organization is to create a cross national African platform “CSCA-SMI”, with Côte d’Ivoire another five countries being Mauritania, Mali, Tunisia, Kuwait and Italy, in order to create a wider network and help African Civil Society to find solutions for combating illegal migration. LISAD’s final aim is to put an end to the trafficking of migrants and to reduce the rate of risk of engaging in activities linked to the trafficking of migrants.
The Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa (SIHMA) supported and continues to support and helped the organization in understanding and defining its goals and areas of intervention, and working on the strategic and structural plan as an organization. SIHMA and LISAD are collaborating in terms of communication, training and research.
SIHMA’s activities to assist LISAD manifest in different ways. SIHMA is providing training in communication and editorial management to the organisation, in collaboration with the Scalabrinian Communication Office in Rome, managed by Fr. Gabriele Beltrami. SIHMA has set up a website for the new organization and SIHMA is giving technical management support for the website and social media communication . SIHMA has also offered training on development of the NPO, on project planning and writing, on fundraising, and training to deepen knowledge and understanding of human mobility.
Even if the organization is new and growing, it has already taken part in different workshops and in numerous conferences: they participated in an in-depth training workshop for legal practitioners to fight effectively against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in May 2021, in Yamoussoukro, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire. The organisation took part in workshops on irregular migration, sensitization tours and experience sharing awareness campaigns.
On the other hand, LISAD will contribute in SIHMA’s research with a project on the topic of human trafficking and deportation in Western Africa, providing the oppotunity to SIHMA to collect and analyise information through interviews and questionnaires.
The collaboration between SIHMA and LISAD, will assist in integration and help develop a better understanding of the narrative of migration, which is very important for SIHMA’s mission and future work.
We hope that this will be a long and fruitful collaboration and will bring us all to fight for the defence of human rights, especially for migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, trafficking victims, returnees and people on the move in Africa.
- La Prison De l’Immigration, by Kouakou Hervé N’dri.
James Chapman and Deborah Zen
Project manager Communications Manager
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