Who is YENNA?
YENNA is the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) online learning platform on community engagement for migrants.
Through the latest learning tools and activity guides, YENNA aims to help IOM implementers and partners design better and therefore more participative activities for migrants and communities.
What is community engagement?
Community engagement on safe migration refers to the active involvement and participation of individuals, groups, and organizations in promoting and ensuring safe migration practices.
This involves raising awareness, peer education, fostering dialogue, and encouraging collaboration in communities to challenge and address existing norms and values around migration.
In IOM's work, active youth engagement is essential for community engagement. Different type of activaities and approaces guide our work:
- Awareness raising and outreach: Communities with high mobility – including communities of origin and return, host and migrants communities – need to be informed about the risks, rights, and resources related to migration. Campaigns, workshops, and information sessions that raise awareness can help individuals understand the dangers of irregular migration, including trafficking in persons and exploitation, while also highlighting legal pathways, available support services, and the importance of legal identity.
Community conversations and dialogue: Engaging community members in open dialogue and discussions creates spaces safe for sharing experiences, concerns, and ideas related to migration. This can be done through community meetings, forums, or focus groups. It provides insights to the specific needs and challenges faced by (returned) migrants and community members and helps develop targeted solutions.
- Peer education: Community engagement involves equipping (returned) migrants, local organizations, and community leaders with the necessary knowledge and skills to lead the conversation on safe migration. Training programmes focus on topics such as active listening, providing support for reintegration, storytelling and audiovisual techniques, and digital communication, and also explore trafficking in persons and exploitation, as well as the importance of mental health and psychosocial support. IOM’s training offer differs according to context and needs of communities and eventually leads to peer-to-peer communication.
- Local partnerships: Building partnerships between community-based organizations, local governments, civil society, and other stakeholders is crucial to obtain ownership. Through collaboration, we can coordinate efforts to better address the challenges of migration together. Collaboration also helps ensure that the voices and concerns of all community members and migrants are heard and incorporated into policy discussions.
- Advocacy: Engaged communities can play a vital role in advocating for policy changes and reforms that promote safe migration. By voicing their concerns and experiences, community members can raise awareness among policymakers, influence legislative decisions, and drive improvements in migration governance. This may involve lobbying for the protection of migrants' rights, advocating for safer migration routes, or pushing for the eradication of exploitative practices.
Community engagement aims to empower migrants, the youth, and vulnerable populations by providing them with the tools and support they need to make informed decisions about migration. To do so effectively, community engagement efforts should prioritize the inclusion of all, including all genders, ages, and educational levels.
The contents on this platform are not only for IOM staff. They are available – completely for free – to all organisations working on the promotion of safe migration, including NGOs, migrant associations, community-based organisations and other UN agencies.
Yenna also guides governments on how to work closely with youth and their communities to co-create effective information channels on regular migration channels and alternatives to irregular migration.
To learn more, contact email@example.com
YENNA was developed under the EU – IOM Joint Initiative and is now funded by the Government of the Netherlands through the COMPASS initiative