The great and powerful gathered in Lisbon are talking about working for better conditions for the needy and job-deprived in both continents. Many of Europe’s immigrants, and their children, have no choice but to hang on and wait.
Former colonial power Portugal is home to 300,000 African immigrants, according to some estimates.
The biggest of their ghettos in Lisbon is Cova da Moura — ‘Blackamoor’s hideout’ — home to
Emamadu Baldea from Guineau Bissau.
“I have a hope,” he said, “that it’s the Portuguese who will solve Africa’s problems.”
And yet the young in the neighbourhood say that in spite of the fine words the reality is one of discrimination and police brutality.
A local solidarity group takes care of children while the parents work … or look for work. Timoteo Macedo said poor people will always try to go where the resources and living conditions are better:
“If Africa doesn’t make progress, migration to Europe will continue.”
Among the generation born to immigrants all across Europe, many know that this is not the El Dorado their parents dreamed of.