With a population of over 2 million people, The Gambia is the smallest country in continental Africa and has the highest per capita migration rate in the continent. Between 2017 and 2019, at least 5,000 migrants stranded in Libya, Niger, and other parts of Africa and Europe returned home The Gambia.
In The Gambia, Migrants as Messengers’ implementation take into account lessons learned, gaps and best practices from previously conducted awareness-raising campaigns, with the aim of empowering youth to make informed migration decisions. At the forefront of the campaign are returnee volunteers, many of whom have been working with IOM on sensitization activities, and whose skills and capacities to conduct evidence-based campaigns will be strengthened. With their own unique personal stories, the returnees will be mobilizing various community engagement initiatives, integrating behavior change objectives into popular Gambian pastimes – including sports, music and dance, attaya (green tea) discussions and bantaba (community meetings). The project will further leverage disseminating audiovisual content on-air and online platforms, especially radio and community radio, which remains the top source of information for many Gambians. Finally, the project’s strong evaluation component will allow IOM and partners to reflect on what works, to inform future awareness-raising initiatives in the country.