US Association for International Migration (USAIM)

The U.S. Association for International Migration (USAIM) is the nonprofit partner of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the United States. As a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, USAIM seeks to empower migrants. Through outreach, education, and fundraising USAIM aims to raise awareness about the reality of migration while encouraging positive action. USAIM's Mission: To broaden public awareness To support programs that promote the humane and orderly migration of people To mobilize private sector resources To work in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to support domestic and international programs benefiting migrants, di...
Feb 22, 2017

Roland and the Byicycle

Roland with his bicycle in school
Roland with his bicycle in school

At the age of 8, Roland could have hardly imagined his life taking such a turn, and all because of a bicycle, or rather, lack of one.

It all started when his parents separated and Roland went to live with his uncle in a nearby community. His uncle enrolled him in school, but the distance – 6 kilometres – that Roland had to cover each day on foot to get to school was a major deterrent to regular attendance.

When his uncle was not able to afford the bicycle that Roland had requested so he could go to school easily, he was upset and went to live with his mother in Adjamansu, a fishing community. Things there were not any better, since the nearest school was six kilometres away and he ended up dropping out of school yet again.

With the intention of Roland making enough money to buy a bicycle, his mother gave him out to work for a local fisherman. However, after several years of hazardous and hard labour on the Volta Lake, Roland was not paid anything for his work.

His luck turned when he was identified during a screening for trafficked children in the region by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in April 2015. He was rescued with 19 other children caught in similar exploitative situations.

Roland underwent four months of rehabilitation which included medical screening, literacy classes, counseling and nutritional support, following which he was reintegrated back into his community, with his aunt. He enrolled in school again – but once more the three and a half kilometre walk to his school proved too much for him and his attendance and performance slipped.

Thanks to sponsors donating to the reintegration project, IOM was able to provide Roland with the bicycle that he had longed for and which had sent him on a fateful journey.

Now Roland attends school regularly and his performance is improving every day.

Nov 25, 2016

4 IOM BENEFICIARIES GRADUATE FROM JR HIGH SCHOOL

Emmanuel studying hard so he can become a teacher
Emmanuel studying hard so he can become a teacher

In 2008, IOM rescued 36 trafficked children along the Volta Lake. Among the rescued victims were Ebenezer, Emmanuel, Patrick and Frank (not their real names). After initial rehabilitation and reintegration within their families, they have regularly been monitored by IOM, receiving nutritious food packages, assistance to attend school and counselling. Through the years, they have all shown a strong commitment to their education. With great resolve and support from their families and donors, the 4 boys have gone through primary school, starting in class 2 and successfully completed Junior High School. While this is already an achievement in itself, they are now determined more than ever to continue with their education.

Thanks to benevolent donors such as you, three of them have now gained admission into Senior High School (SHS) Ebenezer is specializing in Agriculture and would like to continue studying it at University level. Emmanuel is taking General Arts classes with a view to go onto Teacher training school. Frank wants to be a professional artist and plans to attend a Polytechnic institute to learn a variety of techniques. After graduating from Junior High School, Patrick has been admitted into a vocational school to train as an electrician.

In this Holiday season, IOM Ghana is particularly grateful to all donors and sponsors for their support. Thanks to your donations, these rescued children have been given another opportunity to achieve their dreams through formal education. It is hoped that, with your continuous support, many more reintegrated children will also be given such opportunities.

Aug 26, 2016

Two survivors of trafficking become teachers

Simon with his new laptop
Simon with his new laptop

In July 2016, two survivors of trafficking supported by IOM Ghana —Simon and James—graduated from college and will embark on careers as teachers. They will receive postings from the Ghana Education Service to commence in September 2016.

Simon and James were rescued by IOM eleven years ago and endured years of abuse in the form of forced labour at the hands of fishermen in the Lake Volta region.

At a young age, Simon lost his father and his mother became sick and unable to work to provide for the family. With six children to feed, Simon’s mother was forced to turn him over to fishermen, who in return, promised to ease her financial burden and help her seek medical attention.

Although both of James’ parents are alive, he was also trafficked as a result of extreme economic hardship on his family. His parents were promised financial assistance in exchange for their son. The promises made to both families were never fulfilled and instead, their children were taken away from them for years and forced to endure harsh labour conditions in the fishing industry.

The two boys spent the early stages of their lives as victims of trafficking until they were rescued from the Lake Volta region by IOM. Following their rescue, they were reunited with their families, administered care and rehabilitation and enrolled in school. IOM provided Simon and James with the basic necessities such as food, shelter and school supplies. They also covered their school fees and equipped the boys with a laptop which proved especially helpful when completing their college theses.

Simon and James were determined to make a better lives for themselves and with the help of donor funding and continued support from IOM, were able to attain a high level of education that will set them up for successful careers.

As they move into the next phase of their lives as teachers, they are extremely grateful for the support and opportunities provided to them by IOM and its donors. Eager to give back to society, they have offered to serve as role models and motivators for other survivors of trafficking who are currently receiving support from IOM to ensure these children are able to put their past behind them and envision a bright and positive future.

James receiving a laptop from IOM staff
James receiving a laptop from IOM staff
 
   

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