For the millions of Nepalese migrant workers abroad, the 2015 earthquake in Nepal presented a dilemma: Return home to be with family or continue working to support their family.
Global Press Journal
Many of the Nepalese migrants who seek work abroad are exploited by the Nepalese agencies that help them get there. One man, who went to Qatar for a job, was trapped there even after he asked to return home. His experience is common among migrant workers.
When Nepalese migrant workers are seriously injured while working in Qatar there are no mechanisms that allow for them to return to Nepal. More than a dozen Nepalese workers are comatose or in a vegetative state in Qatari hospitals, but their families cannot take on the expensive burden of bringing them home.
Twenty Nepalese men who had come to Qatar for work were suddenly stranded in the desert, unable to speak Arabic and even denied access to their passports.
Encouraged by memories of earning money in Israel during one five-year stint, during which he stayed illegally, Douglas Maina wants to return. But saving money to return is a challenge.
Pulitzer Center grantee talks about her project "In Limbo: Kenya’s Exodus to Europe."
Some migrants work for years to save enough for a trip that requires them to risk their lives. Some are turned back at international borders, but many others slip unnoticed into Europe.
A smuggler who helped Kenyans move to and around Europe used various ploys, including sending them her own identity documents.
Unemployed African migrants can continue a desperate struggle in Greece or Spain amid the financial crisis. Or they can return to their native land, ashamed to tell others of their failure.