Networking Opportunities for Returned Migrants and Community Members
Ouagadougou – On September 17th, a networking day bringing together 250 returned migrants and young people from communities and private sector companies was organized by the European Union (EU) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Burkina Faso.
With its focus on “Entrepreneurship and Employability”, this event aimed to promote the socio-professional integration of young Burkinabé by giving them the opportunity to meet with potential employers and representatives of recruitment agencies, to have access to financial institutions, microinsurance and banking as well as credit unions. Participants discovered employment and business creation opportunities in fields including mining, civil engineer, construction, and catering.
Side activities included capacity-building workshops in business creation, financing search, and marketing facilitated by private sector specialists and IOM’s partner, Maison de l’Entreprise to provide participants with tools on how to set up and manage a business.
“Through this framework for exchange, participants will receive support to finance their activities outside IOM’s traditional programmes and some will get formal job offers. They will also expand their network and have more relevant information for their job search,” said Andreas de Boer, Programme Officer at IOM Burkina Faso.
With the help of specialists, about 50 Burkinabé returnees rebuild their résumés, which were then submitted to a recruitment agency. Fifteen others, who had already received vocational training, obtained promises of jobs from a large mining company in Burkina Faso as well as from catering, construction sites and financial companies. A micro-credit agency granted interviews to about 10 returned migrants to apply for credit with advantageous rates.
This event is part of the “FasoNooma” campaign (“Faso is good” in the Mooré language) which has been implemented since the beginning of the year by IOM, aiming at raising awareness among Burkinabé people about the risks of and alternatives to irregular migration, with an emphasis on local opportunities.
This campaign was funded by the European Union under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. Since May 2017, 1,404 Burkinabé have been assisted in their voluntary return. Through its reintegration assistance programme, IOM supports migrants to reintegrate into their communities of origin and contributes to social, cultural, economic and political life in a bid to shift the perception of the return to a new beginning.
In total, 1,155 returnees received individual, collective and community reintegration assistance to start their enterprise, participated in vocational trainings or in professional orientation. Over 530 returned migrants received psycho social types of assistance and 938 participated in individual and collective psycho social sessions. Overall, 2,000 Burkinabé have started rebuilding their lives.
For more information, please contact Andreas de BOER at IOM Burkina Faso: firstname.lastname@example.org.