IOM Organizes Cultural Festival on Safe Migration in Agadez, Niger

By International Office of Migration (IOM)

IOM Niger has organized a three-day “Festival on Safe and Informed Migration” in Agadez, Niger.

The objective was to raise awareness and increase access to information about migration for transiting and potential migrants, the host population and migrants living in the city's migrant ghettos.

“We have never had a festival that brought together migrants like this, because we never could access the ghettos to talk to the migrants and involve them in cultural activities. In fact, we couldn't have received a more enthusiastic reaction from them. This has been a great way to disseminate information about migration and integration. It has also broken down barriers between the local community and the migrants,” said the manager of the IOM Agadez transit center, Azaoua Mahaman.

The festival opened at the IOM transit center with a video screening exploring migration in Niger and in the region. It included documentaries from Odysseus 2.0, a project which produced photos and videos of the migration route to Europe.

Other activities on Day 1 included a football match in the town square between a migrant team and young people from Agadez and an evening of participatory theatre to encourage debate about informed decisions about migration and safer alternatives to irregular routes.

Day 2 focused on the host community and a public discussion was organized at the Sultanate of Aïr with the active participation of Agadez Association of Women. In the evening a mobile cinema caravan showed more videos and an educational movie on the economy of migration: “Ouaga Saga.”

On the Day 3 IOM staff took part in a radio talk show “Cercle des Migrants”, produced by IOM, to answer to listeners' questions. The festival concluded with a video forum in an Agadez ghetto, followed by a Question and Answer session.

The festival was part of an IOM project: “Supporting Informed Migration in Niger,” co-funded by the European Union and the Italian Ministry of Interior.