Supporting Migrant Reintegration Efforts in The Gambia
This summer, I had the opportunity to support two IOM (UN Migration) units in The Gambia. The Program Support Unit (PSU) coordinates efforts across the mission and provides critical program development assistance. I worked on a number of research and development tasks for PSU including drafting concept notes on circular labor mobility and diaspora engagement. The collaboration allowed for a cross-fertilization of ideas and gave me a deeper understanding of key issues facing young migrants in the region. In my second role with the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Unit, I co-created the Mission’s first Data Flow Plan and led revisions on the multi-stakeholder Joint Initiatives Framework SOP. I was also fortunate enough to leave my desk and interact directly with recent returnees when I joined the arrivals team to assist with reception and data entry. This experience was one of the most rewarding as I got to interview and hear diverse stories from Gambian migrants themselves. The conversations I had gave life to the raw data I was working with and solidified my interest in migration.