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Reading: IOM Concludes Training for Journalists and CSOS in Kambia District
Reading: IOM Concludes Training for Journalists and CSOS in Kambia District

IOM Concludes Training for Journalists and CSOS in Kambia District

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Sallu Kamuskay
By Sallu Kamuskay 298 Views 5 Min Read
5 Min Read

IOM Concludes Training for Journalists and CSOS in Kambia District

 BY Bilal Kamara (MAM Volunteer)

The International organization for Migration (IOM) has completed a two-day workshop for journalists and civil society officials on media engagements and migration reporting.

Journalists and CSOs from the Kambia District formed the 59 participants who attended the training held at the Resource Center in Kambia town on the 10th and 11th February 2022.

The training conducted by IOM was geared towards equipping journalists and CSOs with knowledge and information about the problems of irregular migration and migration-related activities. Participants that attended the training were able to learn some terminologies in handling and reporting migration stories. Journalists and CSOs were exposed to several International Humanitarian Laws and treaties.

Speaking at the training, Mohamed Barrie one of the trainers explained the work of IOM in Sierra Leone and reiterated with emphasis that IOM is not in the country to stop Migration or discourage migration but rather to make migration safe and orderly for the benefit of all.

“This training is important for us journalists living in the border town of Kambia’’ said Mariama Mariatu Kamara, a radio journalist. She furthered “I believe it is the responsibility of us journalists to provide people with the right information which will help them make informed decisions about travel offers”.

Abass Bangura a popular CSO in Kambia described the training as an opportunity for him to attend. He confessed that within the 2 days’ workshop, he has learned fresh ideas and knowledge about regular and irregular migration.

Kambia town is bordering Sierra Leone and Guinea. It is one of the main routes used by traffickers and young people; venturing into the perilous “temple run” journey. “Temple run” is Sierra Leonean slang for irregular migration. Every year, thousands of youths are embarking on this desperate journey to reach Europe. They travel by crossing the hostile Sahara Desert and the inhospitable Mediterranean Sea.

It is believed that Kambia has over 50 illegal crossing points leading into neighboring Guinea. Abdul Rahman Kays an experienced CSO activist who was one of the facilitators at the training disclosed that they deliberately chose Kambia town for this training because they believe it is a strategic crossing point for migrants and traffickers. Kays said that journalists and CSOs in this part of the country have an important role in reducing the risk of irregular migration by raising awareness against human trafficking and providing sufficient and timely information that will change the mindset about backway journeys.

Over the last 5 years, many Sierra Leoneans have been reported dead and stranded somewhere along their “temple run” journey while others especially women who have been trafficked to work in the Middle East are working under harsh and deplorable conditions such as sexual exploitation and abuse. At the end, when their mission of “irregular migration” fails and there is a clarion and voluntary call for a return to their homes, the international Organization for Migration – IOM responds to this call by supporting the voluntary return and reintegration of stranded migrants who are willing to return home and start a new life.

At the training, Mariama Bundu, a migrant returnee represented Women and Girl Child Against Irregular Migration, an organization that advocates for returnees. For her, if young people have access to the right information or know about risks involved in irregular migration, they will make better decisions before they travel. Mariama is also a migrant as a messenger volunteer (MaM) who is using her energy, voice, and experience to help other young people in Kambia town get the right information before taking up a journey that may eventually lead them to regrets. “I urge one to ask questions and confirm the information you receive before investing in any journey” she advised.

The training was delivered under the framework of the Migrants As a Messenger project with funding from the Netherlands Government.


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Sallu Kamuskay is a Sierra Leonean communication strategist, fixer, blogger, youth organiser, event manager, spokesperson, and public relations expert. His work has been regularly referenced and published by national and international media and public policy institutions. Sallu Kamuskay was a child during the brutal war in Sierra Leone. Growing up in the midst of conflict, Sallu witnessed unimaginable abuse of children and gross violations of human rights. The horrors he witnessed during the Civil War had a terrible impact on him at a very tender age. But despite the shock of the war, Sallu never lost hope. He started on a journey of recovery, studying, and working for a better future. At age 15, Sallu entered into the world of activism and advocacy. Sallu Kamuskay was the Vice President of the Young Leaders Organisation, a member of the National Youth Council. The Young Leaders is one of the oldest youth-led organisations in West Africa. The organisation was formed by a group of young leaders, and launched by the then Head of State/President of Sierra Leone. Sallu was part of the group of young leaders who participated in and contributed to the establishment of the National Youth Council. The Commonwealth supported the training for trainers programme with line ministries and youth stakeholders in which key, representatives of youth council, student union and civil society/private sector youth platforms were engaged and empowered in the effective engagement and inclusion of youth. Sallu is co-founder and Executive Director of the Salone Messenger, a global multimedia and public relations firm based In Sierra Leone. Sallu has worked on various developmental and policy issues such as Poverty, Climate Change, Human rights, Child Rights, Education, Health, Gender Equality, Civic Engagement, Government policies, Information Communication Technology for Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, and has also been contributing to various global events and advocacy campaigns. Sallu Kamuskay is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Salone Messenger, a global Multimedia and Public Relations Firm based in Sierra Leone with the latest news and information, on top stories, business, politics, entertainment, and more. Sallu is working with a leading technology company in Africa, Techfrica, that has recently developed and launched a social media, messaging Supfrica with over 150,000 downloads on the Google play store in less than 4 days. He is the Adviser and Media coordinator for the App to give people the platform to connect and communicate to help shape their future with a very fast internet that allows users that live in deprived and hard-to-reach areas with poor internet facility to be able to communicate as it allows and stronger on 2 and 3 G network reception. Sallu has over 9 years of experience in youth engagement, inclusion, and coordination both at local and global levels, giving voice to young people and engaging young people to build a better world. He has served as coordinator for the Wave Alliance which brought together youth-led organisations who attended an international training in South Africa organized by the International Organization – Waves for Change. Sallu is working with the MLT, Waves For Change, and the Government to develop safe spaces for young people, with a view to contributing to the overall development goals of young people including health, as well as to community rebuilding. Sallu is currently the Programme Director for the Wave Alliance, which is a coalition of youth-led and community-based organisations that have successfully introduced evidence-based Surf Therapy programs to young people in communities, with a focus on mental health, peace building and sustainable development. Sallu is currently the focal point and face of Africa’s Faces Social media platform which is a global Social media platform that brings together people from across the world to share their moments, connect, share videos, and interact with friends giving more preference to excluded continents like Africa. Sallu Kamuskay has devoted his time to working for or contributing to a number of national and international organizations and companies, including the Techfrica Technology Company, United Nations, ECOWAS, European Union, Commonwealth Africa Initiatives. This work has led him to travel to a number of countries to contribute to global youth platforms. Sallu is the lead Coordinator for Peace Tour programme, an initiative supported by the European Union, Africa Union, ECOWAS focusing on uniting and empowering young people and local communities. Over the years, Sallu Kamuskay has been using his Techno phone to be able to tell stories, the phone he used to tell the story of Gbessay during Ebola who was admitted at one of the Ebola treatment centers after rumors that she had Ebola when the actual sickness was ulcer, she was almost abandoned at the treatment canter with no medication provided to her. She could have died. Sallu told the story via social media and was able to secure funding from the United Sierra Leone to buy her medication and advocated for her. She was later discharged and taken home, He did the same to a patient that died and was abandoned in the street, Sallu Kamuskay used his phone and shared the message across, the corps was later taken and buried. It could have been more disaster without his voice. The story of late America Stress 3-year-old daughter. The hero’s daughter was abandon after his father's death. He shared her sad story and was able to get a sister who has taken the child as her own and is currently providing her with educational support. The article of America Stress can be read on the link below Sallu Kamuskay feels the stories of Gbessay, America stress and that of many others need to be told. The media house we have cannot better tell these stories, they are better reporters than telling human interest stories. He created the Salone Messenger platform and brought together passionate storytellers to be able to tell these compelling stories.