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Active on the field, Tamat NGO experts and Giusti Eventi communication experts

A European project to fight irregular migration and offer opportunities in Mali

From April 28th to May 7th, experts from Tamat NGO and the Giusti Eventi communication agency carried out a field mission in Mali, to develop and design the communication campaign addressed to the Malian populations, and with the objective to raise awareness on irregular migration towards Europe.
The delegation on the field included project manager Simone Foresi and Denisa Savulescu, country representative in Mali for Tamat NGO, as well as Elena Elia and Paolo Saglia, communication experts from Turist based agency Giusti Eventi, that were supported in their work by the project staff of the Malian NGO “Le Tonus”.

The mission foresaw the implementation of three focus groups in Kati (urban municipality), Yélékébougou and Kambila (rural municipalities surrounding Kati). The three focus groups allowed to involve, interact and confront the people that already migrated and returned to Mali, with the youth wishing to attempt migration (legal and illegal), as well as with the people that do not intent to leave the country. These focus groups have been led in French and in the Bamanan language, and involved interactive activities, in order to combine “Imaginary and Reality” with sociometric questionnaires. The objective was to deeply understand the real needs and desires of each participant, as to create a communication campaign to fight against illegal migration.
The lively discussions developed during the focus groups brought to the surface the dangers deriving from clandestine migration and the need to gradually end such phenomenon. The migrants returning to Mali had the opportunity, during the focus groups, to explain their misadventures both on land, during their long trip through the Sahara desert, and in the Mediterranean see, sailing on old and malfunctioning boats, to finally reach Europe.

The participants remembered the many travelling companions attempting to arrive to Europe, the migrants that died during the crossing of the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean sees, the detections, the tortures, the racism they faced in the prisons in North Africa as well as in Europe. The exchanges between animators and participants led to the establishment of “work axes” which allowed Tamat NGO, Giusti Eventi and all of AwArtMali collaborators to elaborate and understand the ground principles to guide the creation of an effective strategy to be deployed during the communication campaign against irregular migration.

During the mission, the delegation of Italian experts was also able to visit the families of the people that migrated and voluntarily returned to Mali. These visits often became emotional, and showed to the Italian experts the everyday lives of these people, who never lost their spirit and that continue to be the head of their families. Elena Elia and Paolo Saglia were also able to meet the managers of the Bèlèkan Radio of Kati, as well as the artists and managers of the Association Malienne des Expulsés (Malian Association for the Deportees). These meetings focused on the strategy for the design of the communication campaign against illegal migration. All the managers and artists met gave their availability to give their contribution to the AwArtMali project and to actively collaborate for the achievement of its objectives.

The AwArtMali project is a common action led by partners from Italy, Spain and Cyprus, relying on the support of the Malian agency “Le Tonus” to contribute to the change of perceptions and behavior of the Malian citizens, that look at irregular migration as the only solution to their economic and social problems. The project aims to inform Malians on the risks of irregular migration and, at the same time, to inform on the possible alternatives of legal migration.