France: Guinean apprentice baker saved from expulsion

A piece of paper brandished like a victory. “Thanks to Patricia, my life in France is saved“, declared Mamadou Yaya Bah. This young Guinean migrant apprentice baker was to be expelled from France. The prefecture of Ain finally gave him a receipt requesting a residence permit.

A happy epilogue for a story widely publicized in France thanks to the mobilization of the baker who had taken him as an apprentice. Faced with the blockage of the administration, Patricia Hyvernat had followed a hunger strike for fifteen days.

The baker, installed in La-Chapelle-du-Châtelard, a small rural town in Ain, has lost nearly ten kilos but does not regret her punching action.

Yaya is the only person who asked us to come here for an apprenticeship, because we are in the countryside, because it is a job. You have to be extremely courageous, you work a good part of the night. For him, that does not pose a problem, so yes we are very happy.“, reacts Patricia Hyvernat.

With this beginning of regularization, the horizon of the young Guinean aged 20 is now open. “It gives me a lot of rights that I didn’t have before: the right to train myself professionally, the right to work, the right to stay on French soil, the right to live peacefully without fear or fear “, he explains.

Mamadou arrived in France at the age of 16. He returned with the good news to the Emmaus center that had hosted him. Among those present, Stéphane Ravacley, a baker from Doubs, who had also led a hunger strike which had prevented the expulsion of his apprentice, also Guinean, Laye Fodé Traoré.

We have young migrants who are hungry to work, who are hungry to live and we are not allowed to accept them until the end. We are asked to take them, since we are asked to do apprenticeships, and they are withdrawn from us afterwards. This has been my speech from the start. It’s abnormal “, he concludes.

Patricia hopes that Mamadou will be able to take over her business within a few years. The young man has also just founded a collective to help other young undocumented migrants.


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