14 Dec 2012 06:35 Africa/Lagos
"I AM A MIGRANT TOO" Poetry Book Launched in South Africa
GENEVA, December 14, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM South Africa, in partnership with the City of Johannesburg and UNHCR, will today (14/12/12) launch a poetry book - ‘I AM A MIGRANT TOO' ahead of International Migrants Day on 18th December,
The event at the Uncle Tom Hall in Soweto, will mark the end of the month long ‘I AM A MIGRANT TOO' campaign launched at the beginning of November 2012.
The campaign was designed to sensitize the South African public to the fact that migrants are an integral part of society. It shows that we are all either migrants or are related to migrants.
As a part of the campaign, which is part of a broader effort to combat xenophobia in South Africa, IOM invited poets from across the country to submit poems on the subject: ‘I AM A MIGRANT TOO.'
The competition attracted over 200 poetry entries written by artists of all ages, backgrounds and diverse life experiences. The poems invite us to reflect on what migration means and how migration is part of human nature and a part of our lives.
“We thank all the poets, including young children, who submitted their artistic work to this competition, particularly young children who shared raw and vivid expressions of their life's experiences. Some of them won awards, some of them received honorary recognition but to us, everyone is a winner!” says Dr. Erick Ventura, IOM's Chief of Mission a.i. in South Africa.
All the poems were adjudicated and the award winners' poems and finalists were edited and published into a poetry book. The poems in the book celebrate migration and advance our understanding of migration. They celebrate the richness in the diversity that migration brings, but also share the similarities between migrants and host communities.
"The poems that are included in this book show just how diverse the migrant community is in South Africa, as well as how many South Africans are willing to welcome migrants into their communities. That is definitely something to celebrate," says Clementine Nkweta-Salami, UNHCR Regional Representative for Southern Africa.
The poetry book is available for download on the IOM South Africa website (www.iom.org.za ) and printed copies will be distributed to schools, universities and the UN Library in South Africa.
Source: International Office of Migration (IOM)