Arouna Kande

The Letter, A Message for Our Earth film

Arouna is a climate refugee who grew up in a family of farmers in the Kolda region of Senegal, where nearly 80% of the people live in poverty. Families like Arouna’s have long managed to make a living from small farms and herds. But harder droughts and growing deserts make their situation unlivable. Arouna’s family became unable to provide for him, and at the age of eight, he was moved to the coastal city of Saint-Louis. Now a young man, Arouna has found that life in Saint-Louis is not removed from the realities of a changing planet. Because it is situated on the coast, Saint-Louis is being slowly consumed by a rising sea. Stronger storms often wash away homes and businesses. With growing deserts in the east and rising waters in the west, Senegal is squeezed by the planetary crisis. Many young people see no choice but to risk the dangerous migration to Europe. Tragically, they often die along the way.