International Organization for Migration (IOM), Malawi, Mozambique Discuss Community-Based Reintegration for Returnees from South Africa

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“My children are being supported through my projects of poultry, brick construction, and farming. Each project supports the other and, in this way, money is readily available,” says Cryford Nyangulu, a Malawian who returned to his native town of Mzuzu, from South Africa in October 2018.  

Cryford is one of 281 Malawians who have, since June 2018, voluntarily returned from South Africa through IOM’s Pilot Action on Voluntary Return and Sustainable, Community-Based Reintegration initiative. The European Union funded project has also assisted the voluntary return and individual reintegration of 182 Mozambicans over the same period.  

In an effort to expand the beneficial reach of the reintegration initiative from “individual” returnees, to a more “community-based” approach, IOM convened key senior officials from Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa, from 9-12 July 2019, in Blantyre, Malawi, to exchange experience and ideas on ways to collectively assist Malawian and Mozambican voluntary returnees from South Africa, and achieve community-based growth.  

“The reintegration process is now moving toward a community initiative. Within that structure, we will support the Governments of Malawi and Mozambique in working with local leaderships, to ensure that the driving factors of migration are addressed, thus strengthening citizens’ desire to stay, instead of getting involved in cyclical secular migration,” said Mpilo Nkomo, IOM Head of Office in Malawi.  

The workshop formulated recommendations that include strengthening the reintegration support to those who returned so far and focus on community-based reintegration through participatory approach at the community level.  

Delegates were also able to interact with current reintegrated beneficiaries in Malawi, thus further taking stock of the project’s progress. “It is good for us to see such concrete results of the project. It further helps to encourage Malawians and Mozambicans in South Africa engage in the initiative and return to their places of origin and rebuild their lives with their families, and help their communities grow,” said Armando Pedro Muiuane Junior, National Director of the National Institute of Mozambicans Abroad.  

Millions of Malawians and Mozambicans reside in South Africa, after having migrated in search of opportunities to financially support their families back home, only to often face challenging realities in the destination country. IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme provides them with counselling in South Africa, before facilitating their voluntary return to Malawi and Mozambique, and supporting their reintegration.  

The initiative is implemented in collaboration with the consulates of and Governments of South Africa, Malawi, and Mozambique.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Organization for Migration (IOM).

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