Egypt marks International Migrants Day

23-12-2016 08:08 PM

Mary Fikry Antoun Milad

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) organised a community event on Saturday 17 December to mark International Migrants Day and celebrate the positive contribution of migrants on both host communities and communities of origin, as well as remember the migrants who lost their lives during their migration journeys in search for a better life.
The event was organised in collaboration with Tadamon, the Egyptian Refugee Multicultural Council, and hosted migrants mainly from Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Philippines, Syria among others, as well as Egyptians. The event, which aimed at promoting social cohesion among the different communities, featured music and dancing performances from the different communities, along an IOM-sponsored food fayre representing the different migrant cuisines. IOM also partnered with Bybike, an Egyptian start-up that offered free treats to all children along with an entertainment show.
“In addition to the fun activities, IOM seized the opportunity to carry out medical screenings and growth tests for up to 250 migrant children, and when needed, the children received the necessary vitamins and nutritional supplements they need for a healthier growth. To cater for the number of kids, male and female paediatricians ran three clinics during the event,” said Dr Heidi Goubran, Migrant Health Physician at IOM Egypt.
During the event, a recently revamped migrant information-sharing website, Bosla, along with respective Android and Windows mobile applications, were launched. Meaning “compass” in Arabic, Bosla has been developed featuring partner agencies throughout Egypt, to serve as a repository for information regarding critical, essential and basic services available to non-Egyptian migrants in Egypt. In addition to its online directory of local organizations that provide services and/or organize activities for the benefit of migrant communities, Bosla reflects an interactive platform allowing migrants to provide their feedback on the services provided and assistance available to their communities.
As part of the Global Migration Film Festival that IOM launched on the 5th of December, IOM screened two movies during the event: Wallah Je Te Jure, and Charlie Chaplin’s the Immigrant. The screenings were part of a larger schedule from 11 – 18 December that included seven additional screenings in partnership with the French Institute in Cairo, and Zawya Cinema.
The International Migrants Day celebration coincided with IOM’s 25th anniversary in Egypt.

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