Footballer is rescued by the EU-IOM Joint Initiative


Quadri left Nigeria for a new life as a footballer but lost money to a bogus soccer agent in Uganda and was ultimately rescued from life on the streets of Nairobi, Kenya, by IOM. The return assistance provided to the 25-year-old was provided under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for the Protection and Reintegration of Migrants in the Horn of Africa


Also known simply as ‘the Joint Initiative’, the project is backed by the EU Trust Fund and was set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries. It facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused procedures and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration.


The Joint Initiative’s work in the East and Horn of Africa is mainly focused on four priority countries: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia. This means the lifeline thrown to Quadri was not typical.


“Quadri approached IOM for assistance and we were able to assist,” commented Julia Hartlieb, Senior Regional Programme Coordinator at IOM’s Regional Office in Nairobi.


Quadri said he paid his was way to Kampala, Uganda, hoping for a chance to play soccer in the top league. But the agent, whom he said he met online, was not who he said he was. Moreover, he allegedly disappeared after checking Quadri into a guest house. “The agreement was that when we sign a contract, he’d get a fee. He said two teams were expecting me.”


Making his way by bus to Nairobi, Quadri found himself living rough, with no one to turn to. IOM approved him for return assistance back to Nigeria where the IOM country office was due to render further reintegration support.