MARK THE DIFFERENCE – Spaces for dialogue and awareness-raising to change the way we look at migration

The misinformation that comes from certain media and social networks unfortunately makes prejudices towards migrants grow, mainly towards the youth; therefore, any initiative that seeks to promote dialogue and encounters between the migrant community and the host society is always welcome and very necessary!

Marca la Diferencia”: Towards a positive view on migration in Andalusia” is a project created with this objective in mind. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is implementing in Andalusia the second edition of this project, promoted by the Andalusian Agency for International Cooperation and Development.

“Mark the Difference” is developed within the educational environment, promoting respect for cultural diversity, making it visible and placing special emphasis on migrant youth. For this purpose, alliances have been developed with secondary schools and high schools, as well as university students of Education and Social Sciences and the general population of Andalusia.

The project also carries out awareness-raising actions with the “Soy Migrante” (I am a migrant) campaign. The campaign gathers testimonies of the reality of the migrant youths in Andalusia, making a tour of the eight provinces, talking about the daily life and the relationships that are being built in the community, and, of course, with a positive approach that shows the richness of the intercultural neighborhoods.

Click on the image to view stories

Selinda, a young woman from Guatemala that we met, and whom we have supported from our Starfish Program, has also participated in the “Soy Migrante” campaign. She talks about the cultural contrasts she has encountered in Seville, the challenges she has faced as a migrant woman and the motivations that encourage her every day to pursue her dreams. We were happy to learn more about her through her participation in this campaign!

“To other people who migrate I would tell them that, no matter what difficulties they have to go through, never lose sight of their goals, to always keep in mind overcoming the moments of suffering and then, everything will be fine.”– Selinda (Click on the image to view history)

From DPC we had the opportunity to participate in one of the training sessions of the “Mark the Difference” Project, which took place at the Faculty of Education Sciences of the University of Seville. In their workshops they give key information to differentiate concepts related to migration and refuge, as well as statistical data on the migrant community in Andalusia.

All this objective information is very useful when it comes to undo prejudices about the arrival of foreigners in Spain. The ideas of “invasion” and “call effect” that are often shown in the media, are in contrast with reality. The main border through which foreigners enter Spain is Barajas Airport, in Madrid, and not the Mediterranean coast, just as an example of many of the misconceptions about migration.

The “Mark the Difference” project has several open access resources about migration data in Europe, guides, reports, etc.; to be used in the contexts that are needed. You can access them from HERE .

From our experience in the Raindrops Program, in educational contexts, we have also verified that, many times, there is a lack of real knowledge about immigration in Spain. And, above all, when we talk about migrant youth. But also, with great satisfaction, we have verified that after sharing a talk and, mainly, the testimony of a migrant person, the look in the eyes of more than one of the attendees changes…

We are convinced that it is possible to “Mark the Difference”!, that is why we think that this project is very interesting and necessary and that it adds to the work that many entities are carrying out: to change the look towards the migrant community and to promote intercultural DIALOGUE.