By Edward Martin, Project Consultant, Global Migrants Project
Over the last three months we reached out to a broad range of organisations capable of addressing the plight of migrants in Marrakech. We met with local representatives of the Health Ministry and are exploring ways of collaborating to provide medical care to migrants who are undocumented and cannot access the public healthcare system. In collaboration with Clinique Hijra (an organisation providing legal support to migrants), we organised a first informal meeting which informed migrants on their rights and pathways to obtaining residency in Morocco. Clinique Hijra is now holding regular information sessions with the support of the Global Migrants Project and other local partners. We are also developing similar collaboration with organisations that have the capacity to distribute healthy meals and appropriate clothing.
In addition to promoting access to basic necessities such as legal support, medical care, warm clothing and healthy nutrition, we held our first intercultural activity: a lunch (see photo at top: Eating couscous, a traditional Moroccan dish) and tour of the Museum of Contemporary African Art of Marrakech (MACAAL). We invited West and Central African migrants and American and French expatriates who had moved to Morocco. In the end, sixteen individuals from seven countries attended. By bringing this small and diverse group together in celebration of African Art, we were able to create a moment where migrants and non-migrants could interact in a festive atmosphere.
After receiving feedback from those who attended, we understood the importance of creating spaces where migrants can escape social prejudice and daily reminders of the fact that they are in great need. This day did not increase access to basic necessities, but it brought great happiness to all of those who attended. During the visit, Jean from Central Africa expressed, “We pray for the Global Migrants Project to take off and be successful.” At the end of the day Alain from a West African country informed us, “Everyone really enjoyed this day, this activity could be very popular with our community.” Providing happiness is an essential part of our work because it makes difficult daily realities easier to manage and keeps people motivated to seek constructive pathways to building their futures.
If you would like to join us in our efforts to build an inclusive world that provides opportunities for all (regardless of their race, religion, origin, culture or ethnicity) please support us by making a donation. For more information about the Global Migrants Project, please read our project webpage.
Adapted from the project report on GlobalGiving: Support migrants in North America. The Global Migrants Project initiative aims to promote respect for the human rights and personal dignity of migrants stranded in Morocco.