Nadia Lejaille
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I was born in Cameroon, in the city of Yaoundé. I grew up with my grandparents, aunts and cousins.

Early on, I knew I wanted to go to Germany. Germany is the biggest economic power in Europe, and it is a highly developed country that allows people to study technical and scientific disciplines and also medicine. But originally, I wanted to go into politics, create my own political party and govern Cameroon.

After graduating from high school, I learned German at the Goethe-Institute and then came to Germany in 2009. Until 2017, I studied electrical engineering, organic agriculture, marketing, and mathematics. However, I did not have the chance to finish my studies because I had a lot of financial difficulties. So, I returned to Cameroon for one year.

There is a difference between what you hear and what you experience on the ground. In

Cameroon, for example, I was told that in Germany you can earn 25€ per hour as a student. But that’s not true. When I worked as a student, I earned 6.67€ per hour.

There are many things different from Cameroon: the way of living, the mentality of the people, the mood of the people. Some people are unhappy. What surprised me is that they don’t want to give birth to many children. Many women you meet, don’t even want to have children. They just want to have fun.

So in 2017, I came back to Cameroon, but life was very difficult. In 2019, I decided to return to Germany illegally. I used the passport of my brother with whom I had a small resemblance. I stole his passport.

Now I’m living without papers, although I should be living in comfortable conditions.

On my second arrival in Germany in Eisenhüttenstadt, I received no help. I stayed there for three weeks before I went to Wünsdorf Waldstadt, which is an initial reception center. Every two weeks, you get there 60 €. Your basic needs are also covered. But I have never had a lawyer. That is too expensive for me.

In this home, I have been since November 17, 2020. Now I get 330 € a month and have to pay for transportation to Berlin and for food. It can cost 30 € or 40 € to eat. There is not enough left to pay for a lawyer.

I have been living in Germany for three years now. I don’t do anything here. I want to work and be active like before.

I have some friends in this home who are also from Cameroon. Sometimes we share meals and do something together. There are many nice people here. But some people are very dirty; they behave like animals. The atmosphere is calm, there is nothing special going on here. Everyone minds his own business.

Being integrated means for me first of all that you speak the language and have a social life. I think that I can say to be integrated in German society.

I would like to have a residence and a work permit. I would also like to be able to study again. Since I have returned to Cameroon, I have lost the right to study in Germany. I would also like to become a German Citizen because I have spent more than ten years in this country.


This interview was in French. You can find the original here: Miranda, Cameroun Francais

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