The story of Yankuba Darboe, the young migrant who graduated in Benevento “to change the world”


He faced a long journey, starting from his Gambia. He managed to avoid the Libyan hell and its concentration camps, embarking towards Italy and arriving in Sicily. A journey made of hardship and suffering to pursue a better life and a dream that came true yesterday at the University of Sannio.

This is the story with a happy ending of Yankuba Darboe, the young migrant welcomed by the goodness of the people of Benevento, who managed to graduate by putting another small brick to build his future in a country that welcomed him with open arms.

Yankuba Darboe, the young Gambian migrant graduated

“Yankuba’s graduation is not an exceptional fact for our University but it is the increasingly tangible demonstration of how it is possible to make community in the accompaniment of our students during their course of study and how this is winning for the achievement of life goals of young girls and young boys – said Maria Moreno, director of the Department of Science and Technology of the University of Sannio -. Sharing is the basis of the social growth of all of us and is the spirit with which we work at our University”.

Because that laurel wreath is just another step in Yankuba Darboe’s life. The young man arrived in Campania in 2014, after a long journey from Gambia. And, touching Libya and its concentration camps, he had managed – on board a makeshift boat – to arrive together with many other people on the Sicilian coasts. Then the move to Benevento, where he was first welcomed into the Sprar system for minors and then he was entrusted to the care of a family. Which became his family. He studied, he worked hard to realize those dreams impossible to achieve in his native land. He graduated, worked as an operator at that same site of the protection system for asylum seekers and refugees that had welcomed him.

But it did not stop. He continued to study, until the discussion of his degree thesis and the ceremony of delivery of the long-awaited qualification. A dream pursued to pay homage to the memory of little Aylan,the child found dead on the beach of Bodrum in 2015 after the shipwreck on which he had boarded – with his parents – to look for a future far from suffering. He had told it in a video made four years ago by the Association “Rete Economia Civile Sale della Terra”.


“I want to continue my studies up to the maximum level. After graduation if I can I have to change the world. I want to help people.” And Yankuba Darboe made it. For himself, for his future and to remember all those who try to leave war and poverty to build a better future.

Sources: Yankuba Darboe, the young Gambian who fled Libya has graduated (

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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