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Migrant chases dream after jumping Spanish border fence

Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 01:38

A 20-year-old migrant from Cameroon, who reached Europe almost one year ago after scaling a six-meter razor-wire fence separating Morocco from Spain, says he dreams of becoming a professional rugby player and earning enough money to support his family. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) On May 28, 2014, hundreds of migrants from Africa stormed the Morocco-Melilla border, scaling a six-meter high barbed wire fence to enter Europe and begin what they hoped would be a better life. One of those migrants was 20-year-old Thierry Futeu. Facing an increasingly difficult economic situation in his home country, Futeu set out on the more than 3,700 kilometer journey from Cameroon to Morocco eventually making it across a triple-layered fence into Spain's North Africa enclave. Futeu, who now lives in Madrid, used to play rugby in Cameroon's first division Union de Bilongue. With no money to join a gym, Futeu trains every day in a local park, not giving up on his dream of becoming a professional athlete. "I love rugby. I would do anything to become a professional and I think I have the quality to be one," he said. When he arrived in Madrid, Futeu was housed and fed by NGO, Movimiento por la Paz - or Motion for Peace. He shares a house with three other migrants who also made it across the border fence. Futeu was based at a camp in Mont Gurugu just outside the Moroccan city of Nador, where the migrants planned to jump the fence or swim along the coast. Seated at a table in his living room, after working on his Spanish course homework, Futeu recalls the moment he entered Europe. "Everything happened really fast. We met in front of the fence at 5am. Everything happened really fast. We scuffled a bit with Moroccan police and the civil guard that were preventing us from jumping but we managed to storm and get through. Some mates were injured because the Moroccan police hit them and threw stones at us. It happened like that until we managed to get through. With violence from both the Moroccan and the Spanish side trying to prevent us passing. But we managed to get in," he said. Futeu hopes to eventually earn enough money to look after his parents and two younger sisters who still live in Cameroon. "My father doesn't have a job, my mother doesn't have a job. That is why I decided to come to Europe, to try to find a job and play (rugby) to help my family," he said. When he played rugby in Cameroon, Futeu earned no more than two euros after each match. He says he dreamt of playing in a professional rugby team in Europe and make a living off his sports skills. But after living in Madrid for eight months, Futeu said he is disappointed he's yet to achieve his dream. "Life is not exactly as I imagined. I play in two clubs but they don't pay me. In Africa we know that when you play in Europe they pay you. But what I saw here in Madrid is the opposite. Everybody says that I play very well but no one pays me. I don't have a job, I don't have anything. It is the NGO who helps me," he said. Futeu says rugby is his passion and although he hasn't managed to land a professional contract just yet, he remains optimistic that he will eventually fulfill his dream. A 20-year-old migrant from Cameroon who reached Europe almost year ago after scaling a six-meter razor-wire fence separating Morocco from Spain says he dreams of becoming a professional rugby player and earning enough money to support his family.

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Migrant chases dream after jumping Spanish border fence

Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 01:38