Notes to broadcasters
Often rural people who migrate to the city are not aware of the problems they will face. Newcomers may encounter poor living conditions, unemployment, and a lack of social support as they move far from their families.
FADE IN MUSIC AND PLAY SOFTLY UNDER NARRATOR AND VOICE OF JUAN.
FADE OUT MUSIC.
We searched many weeks for a home. We finally found a place in a poor neighbourhood where a lot of newcomers live. We built a small shed with cardboard and tin from the city dump. We had no latrines and no water in the house. We still don’t. There’s a tap a mile down the road where we collect drinking water. Rats are a problem here. It seems there are more rats here than in the countryside!
I started working at several different jobs. The pay wasn’t good and the jobs didn’t last long. Our money started running out, but I didn’t want to give up. I was promised a job in a factory, and I kept believing that things would change.
Claudia misses life in the country. She planted tomatoes and coriander in an old bucket. But, with no land and not much water, it’s hard to grow much of anything.
One of my biggest hopes was that my young son would go to school, but we don’t have enough money for school fees. Most of the time, my son played in the garbage dump with the other children from the neighbourhood. Claudia didn’t like him playing in the dump, but sometimes he brought home useful scraps, so I didn’t pay much attention. But one day he got sick. He caught a disease from playing in the garbage. Today he is still sick and it is difficult for Claudia and I to take care of him because we work long hours.
So now we have made another decision. We plan to return to our village where our family can help us take care of our son. We don’t know yet how we will get home. Speaking honestly, I think coming to the city was a mistake.
I feel ashamed about returning to our village with less money than when I left. I no longer think the city can provide the things I want. I guess, as the wise people say, experience is sometimes the best teacher. I only wish I had respected Uncle Silvio’s advice — but I have learned the hard way.
FADE IN MUSIC AND CONTINUE QUIETLY UNDER NARRATOR.
FADE OUT MUSIC.
– END –
- This script was adapted from Developing Countries Farm Radio Network, script 23-7, September 1991. The original script was written by Indira Ganaselall of Guelph, Canada, and formerly from Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies.