The fundamental role of the media literacy in migrant women life: Women of Benin City stories.

During the second partnership meeting of MedLIT project, CESIE organized a special afternoon together with foreign students and international guests to talk with a local organization working in the city centre of Palermo: Donne del Benin City (Women of Benin City).

The story of this organization started some years ago from a group of women from Nigeria, ex-victims of the human trafficking, who have decided to lead a new life. Aiming at support and follow these disadvantaged women and their families to escape from slavery, the association has created a drop-in centre as a safe space for women to get support and advice on a range of issues, and to share skills and experiences. CESIE invited Women of Benin City thanks to their active participation on the research phase of the MedLIT project, contributing with several migrant women to implement a focus group and individual interviews on media literacy and digital gaps in the migrant community of Palermo.

During the meeting Osas Egbon, the president of the organization, talked about the story of these incredible women, their wishes and, in particular, about their fears, their challenges and obstacles for a fully social inclusion in the civil society. The awareness-raising works implemented in these years allowed the organization to understand how it’s important to build social inclusion pathways tailored to the profiles of these women that many times are slaves of criminal organizations. They are threatened and used as tool to make easy money in the streets in European countries. To fight this phenomenon Osas and her organization create every day different activities as: awareness-raising campaigns, trainings for improving soft skills in sewing, cooking, language courses and other small actions to concretely support the migrant community. She talked a lot about the importance of be supportive with former victims and who is still in dangerous situations, especially young girls. Developing and improving competences and abilities useful for the labour market in these cases is fundamental. A job can be a good starting-point for them to recover dignity and autonomy as well as supporting the well-being of their families. Osas highlighted many times how media and digital skills are a concrete need on the daily life of these women who are always in search of trainings or educational pathways that can allow them to improve their situations.

Moving on our project’s development, after the meeting MedLIT partnership backs to work with new motivations and reasons to support migrant women all around Europe. The renewed motivations will improve more and more our job to create high quality open source materials that not only beneficiaries will use for themselves, but will contribute to support several micro-organizations, as Women of Benin City, in all project’s countries to improve ICT course for this special target group. Thanks to the meeting with Osas and her colleagues, we got inspirations for future project’s steps that will include the launch of the digital tool for media and digital literacy and the awareness-raising campaign in June 2019 where a group of migrant women from all countries will become ambassadors of best practices and role models for other women around Europe.

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