June, 2023

It has been an exciting past couple of months as we have several very cool projects on the go. We now have a fantastic group of people who are dedicated to our projects and as we continue growing, more people are asking to be involved.

One of our major projects is our mural project. As we mentioned in our last newsletter, we painted our first mural in Tetouan, Morocco with our logo. Our goal is to have this image painted all around this planet to encourage dialogue about migration and as a commemoration of all the migrants who lost their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean. This past week we had our second mural come up in Libya. It was painted by a Cameroonian migrant (see above photo) and he couldn’t have done it at a better time as there was a recent tragedy of a migrant boat coming from Libya to Italy. On June 14, 2023, a boat carrying migrants from the coastal city of Tobruk in Libya to Italy capsized off the coast of Greece. The boat was overcrowded and believed to have been carrying between 400 and 750 people. There were only 140 survivors. The people rescued include Egyptians, Syrians, Pakistanis, Afghans, and Palestinians, and eight of them are minors. None of the survivors were women, but witness accounts suggest that there were many women and children on board.
The search-and-rescue operation continued for several days, but no survivors have been found since its initial phase early on Wednesday. The chances of retrieving the sunken vessel are “next to non-existent” because the area of international waters where the incident took place is one of the deepest in the Mediterranean.

This is another reason why using public art as a method for social change is so important. Public art allows marginalized voices, including those of migrants, to be heard and seen. It provides a platform for self-expression, empowerment, and representation. By giving visibility to these voices, art challenges power imbalances and enables migrants to reclaim their narratives, making them active participants in shaping public discourse.

We have developed an interactive map on our website that showcases all the murals upon completion, allowing you to easily locate and view each artwork with just a click.

The Mural Project – Aidez nous a Aider

On May 11th-13th, Aidez nous a Aider attended the Rotary District Conference in Saskatoon where we had a photography exhibition displayed about our project, migration and climate change, and two different stories about migration. We displayed the jewelry at our booth and had a few Rotarians purchase some of our team’s work. It was an overall successful event and we were happy to share with the Rotarians some of the projects we have been working on.

We have also been working at several weekend markets in Canada where we partner with www.wolouwear.com and sell some of our merchandise in local markets. Many people have been learning about Aidez nous a Aider and making purchases. The entire proceeds from the sale directly benefit the talented artists behind each piece, while also offering buyers an exceptional and distinctive style.

The individuals who made the paper beads that we are selling in the markets are starting to lead a mentorship program. 
As the participants progress in their skill development journey, they are encouraged to become mentors themselves. Once they have mastered the art of paper jewelry making, they are paired with newcomers in the program, assuming the role of mentors and guides. This creates a sustainable cycle of knowledge transfer, as the experienced participants impart their expertise and support to those who are just beginning their creative exploration.
The mentorship aspect of the program promotes a culture of collaboration, where individuals uplift and motivate one another, celebrating each other’s achievements and providing guidance during the learning process. Through this mentorship dynamic, migrants not only enhance their technical skills but also develop valuable leadership, communication, and teaching abilities.

In the next part of the project we are working on Online Skills Training: Video Editing and Motion Graphics—a program designed to harness the power of technology and unleash the creative potential of migrants.
In an era where visual content has become increasingly influential, proficiency in video editing and motion graphics has become a valuable asset. Through our online training program, we provide migrants with the opportunity to acquire these sought-after skills from the comfort of their own homes, regardless of their geographical location or access to traditional learning avenues.
One of the key strengths of our program is its focus on practical application. Participants are encouraged to work on real-world projects, such as creating promotional videos, short films, or animated graphics. This hands-on approach not only hones their technical skills but also provides them with a portfolio of work that showcases their abilities to potential employers or clients.

Leave a Comment