I’ve talked to many of you through my work as a researcher for an organization that supports migrants. I know I told you then, but just wanted to thank you again for participating in the interviews and focus group discussions that help make our work grounded in real, lived experiences.
Having moved from my home country to work in another country, the right to safe, fair and dignified migration is something that I believe should be available to everyone. Unfortunately, through news and many of your personal stories, I know this is not always the case. Even though the setting for our interviews has been in a professional setting, I’ve always walked away with a renewed sense of inspiration.
Similar to myself, you left your home countries searching to improve your life in some way.
Your reasons for moving to another country ranged from finding a job to pay for your younger brother to go to high school instead of you, to paying for your ailing father’s medical bills, to helping your parents out, to saving up for university tuition or your own business, to sending money home for your toddler who you had to leave at home with their grandparents, and to moving just experience of working and living in another country.
The reasons for migrating abroad are countless. Moving away from your home, your comfort, your friends, your family (and sometimes even your own children) is not always an easy task — but often exciting, and requires an enormous amount of strength. I am thankful to everyone who has shared his or her experience with me — both good and bad. And to those who have had countless challenges or negative experiences of being abused, tricked, or cheated — your strength to move past it and share your stories with others is incredible and inspiring.
Through our interviews and focus groups, you have not only helped to make sure our projects contribute to safe, fair and dignified migration for all, but you have also inspired me with your tenacity, resourcefulness, strength and ability to move forward despite challenges that have come your way. I am more open-minded, humble, stronger and dedicated to migration for all because of each of you.
IOM X is the International Organization for Migration's innovative campaign to encourage safe migration and public action to stop exploitation and human trafficking. The campaign is produced in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).