IOM Forum Theater Tours Rural Villages in Ethiopia

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iom disclaimerBy: Yusuf M Hasan

The International Office of Migration-IOM is intensifying activities pertaining to reducing and or eliminating irregular and illegal migration by Ethiopians.

A fantastic theatre production titled “Mutach” (The Last One.) that aims to create awareness of the negative consequences of irregular migration is currently on show in rural Ethiopia.

According to a press, briefing note from the IOM Spokesperson Jean-Philippe Chauzy the performance that will run through Mid-October is in the three local languages of Oromiya, Tigre and Amharic.

50,000 community members in about 55 rural villages who are the targeted direct beneficiaries of the program are also expected to utilize their skills in raising awareness among their communities on the negative consequences of irregular migration.

Below is the full verbatim press-briefing note by IOM Spokesperson Jean-Philippe Chauzy

IOM Forum Theater Tours Rural Villages in Ethiopia

IOM Forum Theater Tours Rural Villages in Ethiopia – IOM, with the local government authorities in Amharic, Oromiya, and Tigre National Regional States of Ethiopia, is staging a forum theater entitled “Mutach” (The Last One.) The production is aimed at creating awareness of the negative consequences of irregular migration in rural Ethiopia.

The staging of the show has already started in the rural villages and will continue through mid-October. The performance, in three local languages, Oromiya, Tigrigna and Amharic, is expected to reach out to 50,000 community members in about 55 rural villages in the three Regional States. It will also be staged in refugee camps hosting Eritreans in Northern Ethiopia.

The play tells the story of a father’s predicament as he considers sending his youngest daughter to work in the Middle East. His dilemma is based on the fact that he has been without news from one of his daughters who was smuggled out of Ethiopia a year earlier

Since March this year, IOM in Ethiopia has also trained close to 500 peer educators and community conversation facilitators to involve grassroots level activists in Amhara, Oromia and Tigray.

“Campaign activities such as forum theaters, together with the activities of peer educators and community dialogue facilitators, provide much needed information to communities about irregular migration. With adequate information, community members can make informed decisions about migrating and may choose other, equally viable options at home,” says IOM project coordinator Tagel Solomon.

Irregular migration continues to be a serious concern in Ethiopia. Many migrants still undergo perilous journeys through different border corridors and often robbed, abused or abandoned by smugglers. To avert this problem, IOM in Ethiopia is working with different media platforms and community-based discussion forums to mainstream the risks of irregular migration.

IOM is also building the capacity of government partners at different levels, while providing alternative livelihood opportunities to communities prone to irregular migration.

The project is supported by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC.)

For more information please contact Demissew Bizuwerk at IOM Addis Ababa. Email: bdemissew@iom.int

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