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Gambian immigrant graduates from Italian university, vows to change the world

Gambians in Italy: Yankuba Darboe is a young migrant from The Gambia who was welcomed by the good will of the people of Benevento, Italy. His story is one that has a happy ending.

Yankuba’s story is motivational in that he managed to graduate despite all odds, adding a small brick to build his future in a country that welcomed him with open arms.

Yankuba Darboe faced a long journey, starting from The Gambia to the Libyan immigration holding centres, before embarking on a boat journey to Italy where he arrived in Sicily.

It was a journey full of hardships and sufferings, with hope for a better life. A dream that came true a few days ago when he graduated at the University of Sannio at the Faculty of Science and Technology.

He wrote a biological science thesis on “Stem Cells in Therapeutic Applications”.

He shed tears of joy during his graduation in the company of fellow students with whom he had studied with for seven years.

Yankuba Darboe, the young Gambian migrant made it against all odds

Maria Moreno, director of the Department of Science and Technology of the University of Sannio said Yankuba’s graduation wasn’t exceptional for their university. She however said it was becoming increasingly a tangible demonstration of how it is possible to create a community in accompanying students during their study path and how successful such a system was the young boys and girls to achieve their objectives in life.

Four years ago in a video interview with the “Salt of the Earth Civil Economy Network” Association, Yankuba said he decided to pursue his studies to pay homage to the little Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy of Kurdish ethnic background whose image made global headlines after he drowned on 2 September 2015 in the Mediterranean Sea along with his mother and brother. Alan and his family were Syrian refugees trying to reach Europe amid the European refugee crisis.

“I want to continue my studies up to the maximum level. After graduation, if I can, I have to change the world. I want to help people,” he said.

The laurel wreath is just another step in Yankuba Darboe’s life.

The young man arrived in Campania in 2014, after a long journey from The Gambia. After living in Libya immigration centres for a short period, he boarded a makeshift boat together with many other people and sailed to the Sicilian coasts.

READ RELATED: 4,000 Gambian asylum seekers applications rejected in Germany

He was taken to Benevento, where he was first accommodated in shelter for minor refugees before being entrusted to the care of a family which ended up becoming his family in Italy.

Yankuba Darboe worked hard during studies in order to achieve the dreams which were impossible for him to achieve in his native land.

During his studies he worked as an operator with an organisation taking care of asylum seekers and refugees, the same organisation that had welcomed him.

African refugees and asylum seekers who feel discouraged should draw inspiration from Yankuba Darboe’s story. He made it against all odds.

By Bakary Ceesay