The Azadi Project conducted a multimedia and radio training workshop with ten Nigerien migrant returnees in Niamey in collaboration with the International Republican Institute. By providing entrepreneurial multimedia and radio storytelling skills to returning migrants and then securing them internships at local radio stations, we helped our participants build their agency to reintegrate and reenter the labour market by using their newly acquired digital expertise. By providing them with skills to tell their own individual stories we also enabled them to to take control of their own narratives and counter the stereotypical narrative of migrants. Participants also got the opportunity to share their stories and raise issues of migration, employment and livelihoods opportunity with government officials, civil society organizations and international organizations such as IOM, IRC and UNHCR.
Our participant story:
Meet Biba Souley
She couldn’t go to school but today she is on radio. Biba Souley, a migrant returnee in Niger says that if there were opportunities and jobs in her country, she would never leave Niger and go to a new country to be treated as a slave. “Why would anyone risk their life if it wasn’t out of dire necessity?”, says Biba, a 35-year-old single mother of five children who made the journey through the Sahara desert to Libya. During Azadi’s digital media workshop, she learned skills such as storytelling, public speaking, radio programming, video and social media to share her personal story of survival. Through sessions of art therapy she learned how to draw strength from her traumatic past and transform it in productive ways. Within a week, Biba was able to share the story of her journey in Libya with confidence on different channels. Ultimately, Biba was invited by a local radio station to air her story and share her experience with community members, further creating awareness about what compels people to migrate and the risks associate with migration.