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Madagascar: Young and desperate, will emigrate

Categories: Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, Bahamas, Madagascar, Migration & Immigration

An allegedly bogus employment firm is in legal trouble in Madagascar. The firm called, Gateway Global Consultants, and headed by a certain Steve Turmel, an international consultant, who is now facing an interdiction to leave the country, had promised to thousands of Malagasies a job in the Bahamas for the « West Palm Textiles and Garnments» company , under certain conditions : getting vaccinated against hepatitis B and yellow fever, getting a passport and paying the processing fee of 240 000 Ar (roughly $93, a great sum in a country where a great percentage of the population subsists on $1 a day).

Over 3,000 candidates rushed to apply, having sold whatever goods they had (radio, TVs, rice fields) to pay the processing fee. Some got into debt, others quit their jobs. Gateway Global Consultants received their applications in their temporary office located in a school building. The office is now closed. Contacted by the Malagasy government, the Government of the Bahamas siad that there was no « West Palm Textiles and Garnments » company. The Gateway Global Consultants company did not know of a Steve Turmel. But many candidates were still holding hope [1]for a mid September departure.

Blogger Harinjaka [2]calls attention to the situation by linking to Tribune Madagascar, a Malagasy newspapers site.

Jentilisa [3]wonders if this is a testimony to the gullibility of Malagasies desperate for a job and imagining that life is certainly better overseas even under the most dubious conditions.

“Nahoana tokoa moa no aty amin’ny analiny kilaometatra (Salay arivony) no itadiavana mpiasa nefa ny kaontinanta lehibe eo akaiky eo aza be no tsy manana asa ? Ankehitriny vao betsaka no nahasahy niteny fa teo aloha mbola nangina sao voampanga ho mpanatsatso eo.”

“Why would they look for workers from thousands of kilometers away when there are many jobless people from the big continent nearby? Many dare now to voice their opinions because they feared being accused of cynicism if they had spoken earlier.”

“Hany ka na dia nivoaka tsikelikely aza nmarina mbola nisy ny nahasahy niteny fa aleony mijaly any an-tanin’olona fa tsy izy intsony ny fiainana eto.”

“Even when the truth was slowly unveiled there were still those who dared to say that they would rather be miserable in foreigners’ countries because their life here was unbearable.”

“Eo no nampanontany tena hoe raha samy hijaly ihany ; mijaly eto an-tanindrazana no azo ihafiana kokoa sa ny mijaly any an-tanin’olona ? Nisy manko ireo nasiaka mihitsy hoe tena fadiranovana loatra ny malagasy eto an-tanindrazana ka izany no mampibabababa azy hitady lalana hivoaka. Moa ny fitaizana natao teto amintsika mihitsy no nampanao paradisa ny any ivelany hany ka be loatra ny manofinofy ny hivoaka na dia ireo tsy mahay teny vahiny akory aza.”

“Here one wonders in equally miserable situations; would it be better to suffer in your own country or in a foreign land? Some said Malagasies were so miserable in their own country and that is why they were so eager to find ways to leave it. And even so because our education has made overseas lands to be paradise and too many dream of leaving, even among those who cannot speak foreign languages.”