Refugees with Attitudes

S. – Burkina Faso

“I come from a village in Burkina Faso. I attended primary school there for 5 years.

Because I couldn’t find work in Burkina Faso, I went to Gabon. There I worked for 15 years in a French textile company as a tailor/fashion designer.

In 2016, there was political unrest there. In this context, the factory was set on fire.

(The factory worked mainly with state contracts). Fearing for his life, the French owner fled to the USA. I too feared for my life. Returning to Burkina Faso was out of the question for me. My home country had become a stranger to me and I saw no prospects there. The owner of the company gave me money for the flight to France, where I entered on a tourist visa. I didn’t know anyone there. My attempts to find work there failed. So I decided to go to Germany in 2017.

In Saxony-Anhalt, I applied for asylum. It was rejected. As I had no knowledge of counselling centres, I did not get any support. Since then, I have been living with a toleration permit, which I have to have renewed every 3 months. Twice I applied for a work permit.

The second time I even found a tailor in Berlin who wanted to employ me.

The applications were rejected. Since the situation in the home is terrible, I have been living mostly in Berlin with a friend for some time. I get money according to the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act. From time to time I earn some extra money by doing small sewing jobs for friends.

In view of the difficult situation in Germany, I went to France again last year and applied for asylum there. After the authorities there realised that I was already registered in Germany, I was deported back there.

Since March, I have been attending an A 2 language course in Berlin. I don’t know what to do next.”