A progressive Non-Governmental Organization as long-term project partner: medico international supports the west African Network for the Rights of Migrants
The centuries old culture of the Soninké in Mali knows no term for ´migration`. In Bambara, one of their main languages, which is understood by approximately 30 million people in ten West African countries, there is only tama: “to set out” in English. We should follow them and try to welcome the foreignness of (to)morrow in one world, together. (from a medico position paper 2010)
“Assistance during melee“ is one of the key sentences in the self-conception of medico international, a socio-medical relief organization based in Frankfurt/ Main, with more than 40 years of internationalist tradition. “Assistance in self-organization” is therefore the device of the projects medico international has increasingly been involved with for the last couple of years in the direct context of flight and migration.
“The Right to Stay and the Right to Go” is the title of a current position paper of medico, that names the initial points of that collaboration: “Refugees and migrants are the witnesses of our time. Over the past years, the continuous flight and migration movements within societies of the global south, and towards the wealthy countries of the global north, has gained societal importance that exceeds the classical political causes for flight (war, persecution, state repression, violence). Migration is an indicator for the inequality of globalization. […] It is primarily unequal opportunities in life and prosperity gaps within and between societies, the struggle over access to scarce resources and public goods, combined with a disintegration of more traditional, social systems of provision, which forces upon those persons that are concerned to look for alternatives”.
More than just acute aide: The West African Network for the Rights of Migrants
Since 1997, medico has been supporting their Malian partner, the Malienne des Expulsés (AME). AME, as a self-organization of former deportees in Bamako, cares for those deported migrants spitted out onto the airport by European airlines, every evening. Moreover, AME provides a very specific development aid: With their mentoring, the self-help group (ARACEM) of deportees originally from central African countries (Cameroon, both Congos, Chad, Central African Republic, Gabun) was founded, that tries to provide hundreds of stranded migrants with the bare necessities of life (shelter, medical emergency supply, food). medico has been supporting ARACEM since 2009, decisively.
Together with the third medico-partner in West Africa, the human rights association (AMDH) in Mauritania, AME is working on a trans-national solidarity network. For one thing, it is about acute emergency assistance for deportees, as with the Mauritanian-Malian borderland, where people half-dead of thirst are continuously found and in need of care. For another thing, cross-country workshops and demonstrative actions are organized as first steps in creating a public countervailing power for the rights of migrants.
medico’s cooperation with partners in Mali, Mauritania, as well as in Senegal, not only aims at strengthening the resident organizations in their local defences, but also to prove new internationalist perspectives by means of common access to regional and transnational debates and networks.
For those who would like to support this long-term project work of medico with donations – the keyword is: Migration.
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For further information concerning medico projects and ways to support the work of medico, please visit: www.medico.de
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