After Five Years of Implementation in Senegal, the Migrants as Messengers (MaM) Project Passed the Baton to the Senegalese Associations against Irregular Migration
Dakar – The mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Senegal organized on Friday 26 August at the Ngor Diarama Hotel the closing ceremony of its awareness-raising project “Migrants as Messengers” and launched of the Senegalese Associations against Irregular Migration (ASMI). In Senegal, IOM has been implementing since 2018 the Migrants as Messengers project, an awareness-raising campaign conducted directly by returnees who voluntarily engage and share stories of their migration experiences with their communities and families. These volunteers engage in debates with their peers on irregular migration through interviews filmed and screened during community events including talks, caravans, tea-breaks, etc.
Thus, the project was implemented in Senegal thanks to the commitment of sixty-five (65) young returnees from Dakar, Thiès, Tambacounda, Kolda, Ziguinchor, and Bignona. Since the beginning of the project, these volunteers have organized one hundred and fifty-four (154) awareness-raising activities in their communities to share their stories and discuss the risks associated with irregular migration and alternatives to this phenomenon. These young returnees have also produced and posted on social media over 174 videos that capture their experiences and lessons learned from irregular migration.
In total, Migrants as Messengers volunteers in Senegal have reached more than 44,544 Senegalese in activities they conducted in the field. This work carried out under the Migrants as Messengers Project comes to an end in August 2022. To ensure the continuity and sustainability of the awareness-raising work done by returnees, the volunteers have set up the Senegalese Associations against Irregular Migration (ASMI).
The president of ASMI, Ndéye Absa Ndoye, reassured participants at the ceremony: “Based on the successful experience of MaM project, and in view of the constant and growing social concern to combat irregular migration, ASMI aspires to become, with the support of its partners, a leading association in Senegal and internationally on all issues and debates related to migration and returnees. Today, the Senegalese association against irregular migration is made up of competent profiles dedicated to this cause,” she said. These associations in Dakar, Thiès, Tambacounda and Kolda have the ambition to sustain the implementation of a portfolio of activities that regularly bring original stories and more credible information into the debate on irregular migration in Senegal.
For IOM Senegal’s Chief of Mission, Valeria Falaschi: “The Migrants as Messengers (MaM) project in Senegal has come to an end but its spirit and approach are still intact. The approach of MaM remains in the same hands of the volunteers. Thanks to the Senegalese Associations against Irregular Migration who are taking over the baton, awareness-raising activities about the dangers of and alternatives to irregular migration will remain more active.”