When I was 15 I was living with my family in the village. I met a man who told me about Côte d’Ivoire. I had thought before about going there but I didn’t know how to get there and I didn’t have any money to pay for the bus. This person said that he would help me. He misled me and told me lies. I had been told by the people back in my village that Côte d’Ivoire was a very beautiful country where I could earn lots of money, so when the man offered me a job on his friends large cocoa farm, I decided to travel with the man to the farm.
When I arrived, I realised that things were not what they seemed. I was one of five workers who slept in a little house on the farm and mainly ate cassava. We had to get up early to work and came back to the house late, and once I cut myself with a machete (coupe-coupe) but I did not receive any care.
We didn’t have any contact with anyone else. When I came back to Burkina Faso I came back alone by bus. The fare was the equivalent of US$90. The conditions were slightly better on the bus coming back than they were when going. I had US$20 left when I got back to my village.
I do not have a job and I do not go to school. I would advise everybody to try to stay in this country and avoid departing on an adventure. I would never go there again because my experience was that I came back with almost no money. I had been deceived. I had told myself that going to Côte d’Ivoire would make me really rich. The reality was something else completely. We worked like animals. We were exploited.
Case study courtesy of Anti-Slavery International : www.antislavery.org