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Sharing my migration story helped me move on with my life

Rita Abu
Rita Abu 1 : Photo IOM 2022

I joined Migrants as Messengers (MaM) in 2021, at a time in my life that I would say was my downtime. I wasn't sure what I was doing. All I knew was that I wanted to work and have an impact. However, I didn't know how to go about it. I was one of those people who returned from Libya and lost track of their dreams. Upon return I was confused about a lot of things. As a result, I jumped on any opportunity that came my way. My goal was to be successful. However, I had no skill to harness. All I had was my school certificate in education and my passion for success.  

Upon hearing about volunteering for MaM, I was excited because I believed it would give me the opportunity to discover myself. I became a volunteer for this project with the intention to serve but what I didn't know was that IOM created this project to serve me... The many professional trainings I was lucky to attend opened my eyes to strengths I never knew I had and I found myself doing things I didn't know I could do. Seeing returnees like myself move on with their lives and have an impact in their communities by sharing their stories, encouraged me to do the same thing. Doing this, helped me gain confidence to face people and share my story as well. I then realized that I needed to forgive myself and move on with my life.

Rita 2 : Photo IOM 2022  

The activity I enjoyed the most was the community theatre. It was a game changer for me because I got the chance to not only talk about what I went through in the hands of my trafficker, but also to dramatize my migratory experience. My most memorable experience was being featured in one a local film that discouraged people from travelling irregularly, titled “Lost in Transit”. Though I did not have a major role, the opportunity to interact and learn from seasoned Nigerian actors is a moment that I will never forget. I also enjoyed talking to school students about my migration story so they can make informed migration decisions.  

The MaM project has left an indelible imprint on my life and has given me a lot of opportunities to fly with my own wings. It enabled me to start my dream company “Adore Tech”, an IT firm that focuses on website design, digital marketing, blogging and digital film making. Even though the second phase of MaM may have come to an end, we will keep shedding the light on safe migration and local opportunities through our various personal activities. With everything I’ve learned in MaM, I will continue to use my company’s platform to raise more awareness on the dangers of irregular migration.