Community Building Team (CBT) creates encounter between refugees and hosting local community members
The CBT at CAME will organize activities that engage the local community with asylum-seeking families, creating understanding relationships.
Geography of focus (500 characters)
Refugee families are arriving in Agua Prieta from Mexico, Central and South America, Cuba and recently Russia, hoping to legally seek asylum at the Douglas, AZ port of entry. Many residents of the"sister" border cities of Douglas, AZ and Agua Prieta are afraid, skeptical or opposed to being involved with this humanitarian aid. This migrant shelter is small compared to others along the border. I believe that our need on a small scale here is even greater in the larger border cities.
Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)
CAME's vulnerable population needs a secure environment AND warm hospitality. With the organized crime controlled environment, there's minimal encounter between the refugee families and local residents. An atmosphere of ignorance, suspicion and opposition about the people in the migrant shelter continues while there is little interaction. Educational, health-related and social activities led by local residents could build a bridge between the two populations, creating relationship and compassion
What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)
The refugee families at CAME generally stay about 6 weeks within the secure protection of the shelter.* The adults and children relate to each other through shared meals and community tasks (clean up, laundry, food preparation, etc.) They need to manage living in close quarters, while carrying the emotional baggage of their journey so far and the story behind leaving their home. With CAME's small financial resources, the guests' basic needs are met through the support of the local community. The adults have much time to simply sit and BE, watch their children create fun out of a few toys, spend time on their cell phones and become bored. Parents' faces beam with delight to see their children learning English or having other classes during this waiting time. Other activities could provide legal help for what lies ahead, facilitated discussions or simple entertainment to help relieve emotional stress and anxiety.
*(In other places along the border the wait-time can be 3-6 months.)
What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)
Organized crime has threatened CAME personnel, the municipal police and the government agency that works to protect migrants. There is tension because of "fake news" about the residents at CAME that frighten local residents from participation.
What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)
I am teaching English as a volunteer and value my experience. There are few volunteers because the small staff is overworked, money is tight and tension in the community from organized crime makes it necessary to provide high security. We could involve more people with a dedicated team to invite and schedule teachers, entertainers, artists, cooks, helpers, etc to interact.
Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)
Sorry, but I am not able to complete this idea because of other work and commitments. the summer does not give me enough team collaborators to work with right now.
What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing
Being on the move, crossing borders, and/or temporarily settled
Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing
Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries
Idea Proposal Stage
Prototype: We have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.
Group or Organization Name
Centro de Atencion al Migrante en Exodus (CAME)
Organization Headquarters: Country
Organization Headquarters: City / State
Agua Prieta, Sonora