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Caravan in Thiès

Fatou Guet Ndiaye, MaM Volunteer
Rapper 2Mind in action during the caravan. Photo credit : Amanda Nero/IOM

You take an artistic residency, you add some motivated Migrants as Messengers (MaM) Volunteers with professional artists, and the result is a play for a caravan to raise awareness about the causes, risks and consequences of irregular migration.

After two tests in Ngor and Yenn in Dakar, the MaM team (from which I am a member) and the artists launch the caravan for 30 days to visit 30 districts in the Thiès region.

The caravan is composed of MaM Volunteers, actors, dancers and a rapper originating from Dakar, Tambacounda, Kolda, Thiès. The musical part is led by the rapper named 2Mind. Furthermore, the caravan offers testimonies on the migratory experience followed by a debate and a film screening to close the day.

"Taking part as MaM volunteer and rapper artist allowed me to be useful to young people", says 2Mind.

Rapper 2Mind in action during the caravan. Photo credit: Amanda Nero/IOM

Rapper 2Mind in action during the caravan. Photo credit: Amanda Nero/IOM

Another day at the office!

On the first day, we start with a rehearsal before the first performance in Darou Khoudoss. The briefing of the caravan staff and team starts at noon. At 2 pm, we embark on our journey to Darou Khoudoss. After an hour's drive, we are welcomed in this district by the MaM focal point. Meanwhile, the podium is being set up by the technicians.

After a lunch with the inhabitants, Moussa (actor), Yaya Mballo (MaM Volunteer) and the traditional communicator of the village visit the neighborhoods by car to promote the theatre that will take place on the village square.

In the evening, the population of Darou Khoudoss joins the village square for the first premiere that offers music, theatre, a debate and a movie projection. 

"Seeing mothers crying whose children died on the road to irregular migration; I felt it was relevant and necessary to use my voice and try to convince the other children to stay in the country," explains Bigué Ndiaye, a professional actress. 

Women applaud during the theatrical performance. Photo credit : Amanda Nero / IOM

Women applaud during the theatrical performance. Photo credit: Amanda Nero / IOM

At the end of the first day, at 11 pm, we return to Thiès. Tomorrow, another village with the same agenda.

Before a new showtime moment, the team organizes a debriefing to review the strengths and weaknesses of the previous day. This is a key moment for the caravan because it brings together all the stakeholders trying to find ways to improve the flow of their activities.

Community action!

Once we arrive at our district of the day we present the project and the caravan’s purpose ot the chief of the village. We always eat with the local community who serves us good dishes such as ‘’ceeb Yapp, guinar and ceeb dieun’’ with joy and, not to forget, tea. 
After a very short break, the MaM volunteers go door to door to invite young people to join them at the village square to attend the caravan. If impossible for them to join, we share with them the objective of MaM project and the dangers related to irregular migration.

It is 6 pm, all the logistics (podium, sound system) are in place. The MaM Volunteers help to install the backdrops, tarpaulins, decorative equipment for the theater while animating the square with music. Around 7 pm, the animator starts his job by attracting the crowd with music to the village square.

Nightfall, the activities start with a role-play with the children who are rewarded with MaM-goodies. Then our rapper 2Mind shares his experience through a self-composed song to raise awareness about the danger related to irregular migration. 

Actor Moussa Kalamou plays the lead role in the theatrical show. Photo credit : Amanda Nero/IOM

Actor Moussa Kalamou plays the lead role in the theatrical show. Photo credit: Amanda Nero/IOM

The rapper is a returnee and also a member of the MaM project. After the rapper's performance follows the play The moral of the tale: you can also succeed in your own country.

Before the caravan leaves, the public also listens to the testimonies of two MaM volunteers who share their experiences of their migratory journey. The audience is hooked on each of their words. To end on a joyful note, the audience attends the screening of the film "Une place dans l’avion". Funny but more than ever relevant until today. Because today, the trend is not obvious: the relationship between Europe and Africa is changing every day.

Children are waiting for the caravan. Photo credit: Amanda Nero/IOM

Children are waiting for the caravan. Photo credit: Amanda Nero/IOM