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How one man went from a migrant leaving Africa, to an elected official in Spain

Serigne Mbaye, who was born in Senegal and is now a deputy in the Spanish General Assembly in Madrid, in the Lavapiés neighborhood in Madrid, Spain on October 19.
Ricci Shryock for NPR
Serigne Mbaye, who was born in Senegal and is now a deputy in the Spanish General Assembly in Madrid, in the Lavapiés neighborhood in Madrid, Spain on October 19.

Serigne Mbaye made a life-changing decision in 2006.

The number of fish in his small town of Kayar, Senegal had dwindled, there was a lack of opportunity, and Mbaye wanted to provide for his family.

So he jumped on a boat one night, and joined others on a days-long journey across the ocean to Spain.

Today, he is a Spanish citizen and a deputy in the Madrid Assembly.

His journey is parallel to the larger picture of how climate migration intersects with politics.

Now, he is widely considered one of the most vocal politicians in Madrid for migrant rights.

Listen to our full report by clicking or tapping the play button above.

Mallika Seshadri contributed to this report. contributed to this story

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. During his first two years on the program, listenership to All Things Considered grew at an unprecedented rate, with more people tuning in during a typical quarter-hour than any other program on the radio.
Miguel Macias
Miguel Macias is a Senior Producer at All Things Considered, where he is proud to work with a top-notch team to shape the content of the daily show.
Ayen Bior
Ayen Deng Bior is a producer at NPR's flagship evening news program, All Things Considered. She helps shape the sound of the daily shows by contributing story ideas, writing scripts and cutting tape. Her work at NPR has taken her to Warsaw, Poland, where she heard from refugees displaced by the war in Ukraine. She has spoken to people in Saint-Louis, Senegal, who are grappling with rising seas. Before NPR, Bior wore many hats at the Voice of America's English to Africa service where she worked in radio, television and digital. Bior began her career reporting on the revolution in Sudan, the developing state of affairs in South Sudan and the experiences of women behind the headlines in both countries. In her spare time, Bior loves to kayak, read and bird watch.
Ricci Shryock

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