IOM Ghana and partners mark 2021 International Migrants Day
Accra – On 18 December 2021 in Berekum in Ghana’s Bono Region, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Ghana Immigration Service, the Municipal Assembly, Traditional Authorities, a young creative group and returned migrants, marked International Migrants Day (IMD) 2021 with a series of community interventions to reflect on this year’s global theme – "Harnessing the potential of human mobility". It was an occasion to discuss related topics such as safe migration, irregular migration, stigmatization, and opportunities in the country.
Migrants Day is observed every year on 18 December. It is an occasion to discuss and reflect on migration – one of the great issues of our times. Migration is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with target 10.7 calling on the international community to facilitate orderly, safe, and regular migration, and is at the core of the Global Compact for Migration, adopted in 2018 by more than 160 countries, including Ghana.
This year, IOM Ghana, took the IMD message to the communities in Senase (a rural area in Berekum and a migration hub in Ghana) and organized a series of community interventions including a float, a new mural, a radio talk show, and a film screening of two Ghanaian short films as part of the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) West Africa edition and a subsequent talk.
The Queen Mother of Berekum Senase, Nana Owusu Fakyiwaa encouraged community members to “see today’s activities as a reminder to always choose safe migration.” She added: “There are a lot of untapped opportunities here in Berekum. You don’t have to risk your life to make it. You can make it here.”
For the radio talk show, IOM engaged a group of young people who are part of the IOM X project and are actively involved in the development of a new safe migration campaign #WAKAwellGhana which will run in 2022. The IMD radio show was an opportunity to test a radio drama created to raise awareness of safe migration pathways, dangers of irregular migration and opportunities at home.
Selina Kusi, a student, and IOM X participant, said: “We developed this radio drama as part of the new IOM X campaign to educate the youth in our communities and to encourage them to visit https://wakawell.info/en/ghana/ where they can get relevant and accurate information on migration and local opportunities.”
During the community film screening, the short film “Fati’s Choice” invited the audience to reflect on the issue of stigmatization, a challenge which migrants and returnees often encounter. During a talk, returnees shared their stories of migration, return and reintegration to encourage the youth not to risk their lives searching for better employment opportunities elsewhere. The community was reminded to embrace - and not stigmatize - returnees and migrants.
“Sustainable reintegration of returnees is only possible when all migration stakeholders are on board, a participatory approach is applied, and communities take ownership. IOM’s innovative and integrated approaches involve reintegration at individual, community, and structural level, and recognize the effect that irregular migration has on the mental and physical well-being of a returnee and therefore includes a psychosocial component,” said, Pooja Bhalla, Project Manager at IOM Ghana, on behalf of IOM Ghana Chief of Mission Abibatou Wane-Fall.”
This year’s IMD will be concluded with the “Made in Taadi” Youth Seminar, an initiative of IOM Ghana Goodwill Ambassador, Kofi Kinaata, on 23 December 2021 in Takoradi. Under the theme “Untapped Opportunities in a Pandemic Era”, the seminar will explore opportunities for the youth, and discuss these in relation to safe migration pathways and the persisting issue of irregular migration. The short film “I like it here” by Ghanaian film maker Amartei Amar will be screened as part of the GMFF.
All IMD activities were realized with support from the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), the German Federal Foreign Office and Kofi Kinaata’s Team Move.
For more information, please contact Collins Yeboah, Community Outreach Assistant at IOM Ghana, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org