Award-Winning journalist, Joseph Kobla Wemakor together with sixteen (16) other Ghanaians working in various sectors of the country have benefited from a 4-day intensive capacity building workshop on migration aimed at equipping them with adequate knowledge, information and skills on how to handle migration-related issues in the country.
The workshop dubbed “Project MOBILE”, an initiative being executed by Speech Forces Organization in collaboration with Ghana-Union Hamburg and supported by the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM) seeks to address the phenomenon of migrating to Europe for greener pastures; an issue common among the youth of Africa.
The 4-day intensive capacity building workshop which began in June and ended up in July (4 Saturdays only) was staged at the ‘Kunkun’ conference hall located at Osu, a surburb of Accra.
Astute journo, Joseph Kobla Wemakor, a recipient of the maiden competition on migration media award who was also part of the sixteen (16) beneficiaries drawn from the various sectors of the country including Civil Society Organizations, Non-government Organizations, Schools, the Corporate world, the media and the governmental organizations alike.
The participants were exposed to the hardcore issues of migration which most African youths are battling with including the consequences of irregular migration, seeking for asylum and the processes involved in securing it.
They were also meant to experience real-life situations of some African migrants living in Europe via a documentary movie made by them who narrated their ordeals.
The beneficiaries Project Mobile on migration
The beneficiaries include Richmond Coffie (entrepreneur), Grace Suatonu (business woman), Emmanuel Animpong (NGO volunteer), Solomon Sarpong (teacher), Issac Afful Ferguson (politician) Ebenezer De-Gaulle (journalist), Rashid Provencal (journalist), Afia Acheampong (student), Joseph Kobla Wemakor (journalist) and Sena Gebe (student).
Interacting with Newsghana24.com on the sidelines of the workshop, the winner of the ‘2018 media competition on migration reporting, astute journo, Joseph Kobla Wemakor who doubles as the Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG) expressed profound delight and lauded the organizers for the ‘golden’ opportunity to be enlightened on migration-related issues which is a major challenge the Africa continent is confronted with.
“It’s always my pleasure to have my knowledge and skills upgraded and be well-informed about the critical issues that affect us as African youths and I am really grateful for this opportunity. To be educated is an empowerment in itself to be more committed in highlighting these critical issues as a journo and I must really commend the organizers, facilitators and all those who made this happen”.
Migration remains a critical issue in Africa as the drive for survival and for greener pastures continued to force millions of young men and women to gamble with death in attempts to cross over to Europe and other parts of the world. This quest to escape poverty, hunger, unemployment, insecurity, climate change, urbanization among other reasons caused a major segment of Africa’s population to seek alternatives for better livelihood prospects for themselves and families at the perils of their lives.
Unfortunately, those seeking economic survival see irregular migration as the best alternative, given the difficulty and resources involved in migrating through regular and legitimate routes.
The issue is a very pathetic one begging for a solution owing to the thousands of lives being lost aside the torture, trauma and other forms of abuses that most migrants suffer trying to cross over the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea en-route Europe and the America’s and others.
Rational behind Project Mobile on migration
Explaining the rationale behind the project, Business Development Manager of Speech Forces Organization, Prince Kelly Anyomitse said, “the Project Mobile is an abbreviation of a title: the “Myth of Better Life in Europe”. He explained the idea behind the workshop is to reach out to people who have the network and influence to help educate the direct primary victims of irregular migration.
“We are doing this in conjunction with the Ghana Union in Hamburg (Germany), a community of Ghanaian living there who are financing this project as their way of helping the society and sensitizing young people back home on the right way to travel to Europe including the dangers of irregular migration”.
Prince averred that the 1-year project which began in June runs concurrently in Accra and Kumasi and has so far engaged seventy-four (74) selected participants from every sector of the country.
He said 10 facilitators were trained during the first phase of the workshop in Accra this year while 64 cohorts were trained concurrently in Accra and Kumasi between June, July and August amounting to a total of number of 74 participants directly engaged within the first and second phase under the project.
Mr. Anyomitse who also doubles as the main facilitator of the project hinted that the third phase of the project will witness the engagement of religious leaders and the media practitioners and it will be wrap up with a documentary movie which will be screened on all the Television networks in Ghana.
According to him, the documentary movie is currently being produced in Germany and will soon hit the screens to educate the masses on irregular migration and the realities of life of migrants in Europe before the close of the project in 2020. “That is why we’re engaging the media ahead to set the agenda for the discussions on migration which is a very pertinent issue”.
He advised the youth against irregular migration and encourage them to avoid always being in haste whenever they want to travel outside the country but to rather ensure they seek for the right information, crosscheck facts from the authorities and be adequately prepared before taking a step.
For her part, Madam Sandra Paye, a co-facilitator of the workshop admonished the youth to always consider the consequences of irregular migration before embarking on a journey outside the country in search for greener pastures.