Since December 2018 the Italian NGO Tamat has been engaged in Mali with a project aimed at raising awareness among youngsters and people intending to migrate, on the risks of irregular migration and development opportunities existing in the country.
TAMA 365: the communication campaign of AwArtMali
The project is carried out in partnership with ISMU Foundation (Italy), Giusti Eventi (Italy) communication agency, Farneto Teatro association (Italy), CARDET research and development centre (Cyprus), the think & do INSTRATEGIES (Spain), the consulting company CONGENIA (Spain) with the operational support of the local NGO Le Tonus (Mali).
Mali: a land of migration and transit. The causes that drive young people to leave are many and complex: if on the one hand, there are reasons related to the social, economic and environmental spheres, on the other (as underlined by the research carried out by Fondazione ISMU and Instrategies) there is the traditional component of migration. The role that tradition plays in shaping the common imagery about migration becomes clear when we consider some regions such as Kayes or Koulikoro that, despite living a stable socio-political situation, represent regions from which they depart and pass through during their journey to Europe. The inhabitants, as shown in the interviews, sometimes decide to leave more by tradition than by necessity. They emigrate because “to succeed in life, one must leave” even when people do not live in poverty.
Today, migrants see Europe as El Dorado. This imagery was built on the basis of the images and stories that those who have already arrived in Europe share through WhatsApp and social media. They tend to send their families only positive news: photos and videos that show moments of serenity and pleasure in their beautiful clothes. On the other hand, it would be difficult to them share information about low-paid and / or precarious work. All this leads the young Malians to build a positive image of Europe and, vice versa, to emphasize only the negative aspects of their land.
Raise awareness and inform about risks, alternatives and opportunities. The project began with a research and a community listening phase in order to identify migrants’ communication habits, needs and perceptions. This first moment enabled to identify a specific area of intervention, the Cercle of Kati, recognized as one of the transit gates of migratory flows that move towards Europe but also towards Africa. Furthermore, on the basis of the information collected, the TAMA365 communication campaign was conceived, built as a multi-channel campaign that combines and mixes different ways of communicating, between analogue and digital, which aims to raise awareness and inform Malians about the risks of irregular migration, on legal alternatives related to migration and the development opportunities available in their country.
TAMA365, a multi-channel campaign. Posters, radio, theatre, a blog, an app and finally a video documentary to report and talk about the whole project experience: these are the tools used by the TAMA 365 communication campaign. Launched in August, the contents were created on the basis of the Malian expectations, tastes and communication needs, for example through the radio, a fundamental and widely heard tool that deals with the most varied topics of everyday life.
The communication strategy and its tools. The communication strategy is based on the principle of sharing. Sharing suffering, difficulties, beliefs, ambitions and aspirations. The contents were built on the basis of the testimonies of those who have already experienced the irregular journey and have been victims of abuse. But also of who think about travel, sometimes dream or just imagine it. The tone of the messages always remains sober, but at the same time dramatic with light accents of hope declined through the colours of purple – which is synonymous of sadness, mystery, conflict, but also justice, dignity, well-being – and grey – which is synonymous of uncertainty but also sincerity, neutrality, simplicity.
The campaign will follow the public through a journey, first to the RISKS linked to irregular immigration, sometimes forced to face an uncertain future full of questions. Then, starting in November, it will try to spread the message about the OPPORTUNITIES that people can find in Mali, especially among the youngsters.
The availability of tools such as the TAMA 365 blog, developed by the partner GIUSTI EVENTI and managed together with CARDET where it will be possible to find all the information and useful contacts for an informed migration, but also to have a large container where to find positive testimonies and stories of those who have made it or are trying to make a contribution by putting themselves on the line to win the bet of building a dignified and safe life path.
All the blog contents are available through the application for mobile devices TAMA 365 APP (developed by Cardet), which represents the most direct tool able to reach the widest public and in particular youngsters.
The journey of a theatrical caravan composed by actors and artists from different African Sahelian countries will be an activity entrusted to the partner Farneto Teatro with the collaboration of the Gambidi Cultural Centre of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and will pass through the villages of the Cercle di Kati during the months of January and February. Thanks to the representation of the human drama of irregular migration, to the disruptive and immediate force of theatrical language, it will be possible to have collective moments of debate and reflection able to increase the level of awareness of the people involved in this particular form of interactive show and thus make the protagonists of a change of their vision on one of the most important problems of everyday life.
Continue to raise awareness and inform about opportunities. Starting in October, accompanying the campaign, the project team coordinated by Tamat with the support of Le Tonus is organizing a series of workshops with qualified stakeholders identified as strategic to share information, know-how and good practices in different sectors of economic and social life in Mali, to activate dialogue, strategies and synergies among the main stakeholders and to provide policy makers with indications and tools, building capacity to improve their knowledge on national and international politics regarding migration.
These educational and informational moments will be developed on a thematic basis and will constitute a rich, informative heritage on the opportunities in Mali through an Opportunities catalogue published and produced thanks to the CONGENIA partner and continuously updated with the support activity of the NGO Le Tonus. The information and suggestions collected will in fact help not only to produce content to be included in the TAMA 365 campaign, but also to elaborate the guidelines that will form the basis to ensure the project sustainability.
In fact, this is the vision of TAMA 365, an acronym that hasn’t been randomly chosen, because TAMA’DEN in Bambara language means “Migrant” and 365 wants to recall the succession of the days that compose a year. This means that in Mali the phenomenon of migration does not represent a temporary problem, but a fundamental aspect of daily life, which concerns us all, near or far, and to which we can all be able to give answers. Just do it every day, but above all together.