A network of more than 100 youth leaders is being woven to inform about migration with IOM's "Think Twice" campaign in the North of Central America
Youth participation is the engine that enables positive social change in the prevention of irregular migration. "Think Twice" is a campaign of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador that develops training processes. Today a network of more than 100 young community leaders have become ambassadors of migration awareness and information.
These young leaders implement activities in communities with high rates of expulsion of migrants: Santa Ana and San Salvador in El Salvador, Sibinal and San Marcos in Guatemala, and El Progreso and Tegucigalpa in Honduras. Initially, these young people were reached and trained through this campaign that began in 2020, improving their knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding migration: "The American dream is painted too nicely and the campaign came to change my mind, I understood the reality of what it is like (to migrate irregularly)," explained Yanileidi Romero, from Guatemala.
As the campaign has evolved, young people have taken ownership of the initiative and have become ambassadors who share reliable information with their peers and proactively lead trainings, information fairs, championships, workshops in educational centers and other activities. More than 13,000 people have been reached through these efforts in the last year of implementation.
With flags from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and a lot of dynamism, about 20 of these young ambassadors were part of a tri-national exchange in San Salvador, where they shared their lessons learned in the implementation of Communication for Development activities in their communities and their role in addressing these issues with their peers. You can read some of these young people and their testimonies here.
"Now I know what is behind migration and I feel I can advise a friend or family member," said Fátima Aleman, one of the ambassadors in El Salvador. Ramón Caballero, from Honduras, said that one of his achievements as an ambassador is that now he is able to explain to other young people "so many ways that exist to migrate in a regular way."
"Currently, misinformation about migration and hate speech are major challenges for the world. Therefore, consolidating networks like this one is key to address these issues from the community level in a comprehensive and sustainable manner," said Tatiana Chacón, from the IOM Regional Office for North Central America and the Caribbean.
The campaign "Piénsalo 2 Veces" promotes that young people learn to identify false information or deceptions related to human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and other risks of irregular migration. More details can be found at www.somoscolmena.info, IOM's community for migrants.
This campaign contributes to the goals of the Global Compact on Migration: 3, 10 and 17, under SDG 10.7. This initiative is part of IOM's Communication for Development efforts in Mesoamerica, developed thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org