Addressing returnees’ economic, social and psychosocial needs and foster the inclusion of communities of return in reintegration planning and support.

Since the launch of the Joint Initiative in April 2017, over 125,000 activities were planned, organized and/or completed to assist migrants achieve economic self-sufficiency, social stability and psychosocial well-being in West and Central Africa until 31 October 2021.  

Ivory Coast

Art therapy workshop

Art therapy is a method of psychological support and therapeutic guidance that includes the use of art including: painting, collage, drawing, modelling, writing, photography, photo-language, music or physical expression.  

Photo : IOM 2020/Mohamed Diabaté

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Mali

Migrants participating in recreational activities

It can sometimes seem like a long wait for returnees who want to return immediately to their communities of origin. While waiting, some of them play games of checkers to pass the time. These recreational activities are a great psychological contribution to the returnees’ well-being.

 

Photo : IOM 2020/Moussa Tall 

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Burkina Faso

Psychological support

Migrants do not only need financial or material support, they also need to be listened to. Some migrants experienced distressful situations that require psychological support.   

To this end, IOM and the Red Cross regularly conduct awareness-raising sessions about the importance of psychological care. The objective is to encourage those who need and want to receive support from a psychologist. These sessions are followed by individual and tailored listening sessions. 

 

Photo : IOM 2019/Judicaël Gaël Lompo 

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Jamila is a psychologist in IOM’s transit centre for women and children in Niamey. In this video, she talks about the importance of mental health and psychosocial support for vulnerable migrants in transit in Niger.

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Ghana

Playground Jamestown

Lincoln now not only uses music to heal but also to spread a message. In one of his songs, “Guns from Tripoli” for example, he narrates his migration experience. Through his creativity he has become a safe migration advocate. In July, in Jamestown, Accra, Lincoln performed his track at IOM’s launch of its new youth empowerment project “Playground”. More than 200 in the audience reacted enthusiastically. “Telling my story is not a shame at all,” he says. 

Photo : IOM Ghana 2021/Juliane Reissig 

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For some migrants, returning home can trigger different psychological reactions. IOM ensures that returnees have access to mental health and psychosocial support to help them overcome trauma and rebuild their lives with dignity.

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Nigeria

Selfcare

As part of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support mentor facilitate a selfcare activity in Benin City Edo State.

Photo : IOM 2021/Ayu Narulita

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 Gambia

Shipwreck survivors

Survivors of a 2019 shipwreck off the Mauritanian coast have received mental health and psychosocial support.

Photo : IOM 2020/Alessandro Lira 

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IOM provides assisted return and reintegration support to Ghanaians who decide to return home. Returnees receive psychosocial assistance to help them cope with the difficulties of return and other trauma as part of the organization’s reintegration assistance.

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