Outreach Foundation recently conducted a very successful three-day workshop with stakeholders working with migrants in the area.
Representatives from the local Department of Health, Department of Home Affairs, Local Nkomazi municipality (Nkomazi Local Municipality. Is a municipality of South Africa, located in the Ehlanzeni District Municipality, Mpumalanga), as well as those from organisations such as Faith Home Based Carers, Scalibrini, a Mozambican-based NGO, CRM (a local church-run social work organisation), IOM, Save the Children, and Luma Law, shared valuable information on what is going on with the migrants in the area and the district itself.
Migrant communities also attended the workshop. Along with free check-ups at the mobile clinic parked outside the venue, they received important information from each stakeholder.
Some highlights from what the stakeholders shared were:
Scalibrini shared that they can help people with papers so that they can cross legally. The representative also appealed to the community not to keep returning to South Africa if they have been deported but to rather learn skills on that end so that they can stay or to get their papers in order before crossing the border again. He also told them not to bring their children into South Africa, but to leave them in their country as it would be better for the children. Scalibrini will help them with placing the children in schools and ensure they are ok. If they come into South Africa, especially as undocumented migrants, the future is bleak for them.
The Department of Health shared many important issues they face with migrants, especially related to swapping identities when coming to the clinic. They appealed to the members not to do that as it makes it difficult to assist them and give them the right treatment. They also gave them essential information regarding health matters.
The Department of Home Affairs told the members that they need to always have papers with them, as if they die, no one will ever know if they have no identification. She also told them that having a child in South Africa does not automatically mean the child is going to get SA citizenship. The child will always follow the mother’s nationality, but there are exceptions that she shared with the crowd. She also shared information on what to do when a child is born and when a person dies.
IOM (International Organisation for Migration) shared how they uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants and mobile populations and what they can do for the migrants.
Save the Children work with IOM to serve the population with issues relating to HIV in Komatipoort and also told them about the other things that the organisation does.
Organisations Faith Home Carers and CRM spoke about their services and how they can assist the community members at the meeting and others throughout the district.
The local municipality encouraged the community to work with them and to report any department or organisation that is not working correctly or treats them without respect etc.
The organisations were very excited about the outcome of the workshop and the information shared and asked us to return soon.