Amadou Sumaila gives permission to share letter in which he explains how and why he left Mali and arrived in Sicily

Amadou Sumaila was one of 118 people rescued from an inflatable boat drifting 20 miles off the Libyan coast on a clear, calm morning in August last year. The kind of day for which people smugglers hope and their passengers pray.

The young Malian and more than 363,000 other migrants and refugees crossed the Mediterranean to reach Europe in 2016. Like many of them, Sumaila had never seen the sea, never imagined that so many people could be crammed into a small boat and never thought it would be so hard to breathe.

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