Refugees with Attitudes

Abdoulaye – Senegal

Abdoulaye left Senegal in 1999. He applied for asylum in Eisenhüttenstadt the same year and was taken to a home in Brandenburg.

“I was in the tenth grade when I left school. My girlfriend had become pregnant and her parents were furious. I left her behind to take care of us in Europe.

When I arrived here, I found out that I had to apply for asylum, which I did in Eisenhüttenstadt. One and a half months later, I was transferred to an asylum camp far outside the city.
At first I still managed to send my girlfriend 50 to 100 marks, even though I was starving myself. After a while I learned that in order to work I needed a work permit from the Foreigners’ Registration Office.
I tried to get that, but each time I was told to look for a job and then come back for the permit. When I found a job and wanted to get the permit, I was told that I was not entitled to that kind of work. So I stayed in the camp. Not because I liked it, but because of the residency requirement.

After 6 years, I got a refusal for the first time in 2005. That was the moment my life changed. Some time later I broke off contact with my girlfriend and I don’t know what happened to her.
Since then I have been living with toleration.”