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Top Manta Project: Nobody is illegal

An ethical, social and solidarity brand that is committed to changing this society by improving the lives of the most vulnerable.

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Top Manta Project was born as a project of the Popular Labor Union of Street Vendors of Barcelona, Spain, an organization that seeks to demonstrate the capabilities and value of migrants who want to work legally to contribute to the global and Barcelona economy and improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable people.

For years migrant street vendors have been targeted by the police, politicians and media because of current legislation and institutional racism prevent migrant persons fleeing their home countries, whether due to poverty, war, violence or persecution, to access decent work. The project has allowed the Popular Trade Union of Street Vendors of Barcelona to dignify our work, register our own logo and create our own business, with which we want to regularize the administrative situation of the street vendors that live in Barcelona, integrate it into the city and make aware to the population on our current problem, eliminate racism and get the necessary support from society and political groups to modify the current legislation that discriminates against the poorest and most vulnerable collectives.

This project has been created and is carried out by people on the move as a collective that experienced displacement. The Association is mainly composed of migrants and racialized people. Currently, is made of 150 migrant members, of which 9 of them are fully involved in Top Manta Project.

Since our creation we have achieved the regularization and integration of 85 street vendors, either through a contract of at least one year with our association or through our struggle with which we have managed to get the city council to launch labor initiatives for the street vendors that include various occupation plans that involve labor contracts of at least one year duration to achieve their regularization.

Finally, with the project already started we intend to improve our infrastructures and material to continue with the work of economic development of our city Barcelona and of our colleages that are still in an irregular situation.

Our social and solidarity project is based on four  main pillars:

  • Seek labor solutions to the group of street vendors in our city and the exclusion suffered due to current immigration legislation that prevents migrants from accessing a decent job and life.
  • Build bridges with local community: integrate our collective into society, improve our living conditions, dignify our work, demonstrate our value and contribute to the economy of the planet and our host country.
  • Advocacy initiatives: promote and contribute to the elimination of immigrant discriminatory laws.
  • Contribute to the suistanable development of our planet by using organic and fair trade textils.

We are currently working on the following lines of social and solidarity economic activity:

  • The main activity is local local commerce: design, sewing, screen printing and sale of our own fashion garments and other products (t-shirts, sweatshirt, bags, caps, among other accessories), as well as screen printing services at economic prices.
  • Training services, advocacy, cultural exchange activities and talks aimed at entities, groups, schools and in the public administration: training in anti-racism, in the rights of migrants.
  • Sewing services
  • Food services: street vendors’ dinners (Senegalese food services, mainly in popular festivals, political, cultural meetings, etc.)


Our idea is to expand the possibilities of self-employment so that colleagues who have trades and knowledge can apply them in some type of service, promoting the presence of migrants in the cooperative world and favoring the development of a global social market. Our project and self-management model has begun to be implemented in other cities in Spain and we believe that it can inspire all vulnerable groups and extend to all countries of the world, so that migrants can work and reside legally in the country to which they migrate, be able to demonstrate their worth, their knowledge and culture, have a dignified life and strengthen ties with the host community. This is how we understand self-management: political innovation for a more just and hopeful horizon.

We are convinced that promoting the presence of migrants in the cooperative world favors development from an anti-racist perspective and the improvement of the social market.

What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

Current legislation in Spain and institutional racism prevent migrant people fleeing their home countries, whether due to poverty, war, violence or persecution, from accessing legal and decent work. We are migrants and we are people of peace; we risk our own lives fleeing from our countries in order to have a decent job and help our families to survive. Upon arrival to Spain, our dreams are broken, we are treated as criminals, imprisoned or deported and considered ‘migrants in irregular situation’, not having the right to residence and work, neither access to basic social services such as education, housing and health. In order to regularize our situation, we are required to remain in Spain for at least 3 years, but we have no right to work. In order to survive, we work as street vendors, but it is considered an illegal activity and when we are detained by the police, this criminal record prevents our regularization for another 5 years. We are thus trapped by the system, which prevents us from having a decent job and criminalizes us, being the constant target of the police, politicians and the media. That is why in 2015 we join together as a Labor Union and launch our own Top Manta clothing brand to give voice to our situation of injustice, persecution and vulnerability, to find ourselves a solution to our labor problem, to improve our living conditions collectively and fight together for legislative changes. With our self-management project, we offer labor opportunities to our colleagues through an offer of a one-year pre-contract to those who have been in Spain for 3 years so that they can apply for a work and residence permit by the way of 'social roots' and can work on the project; we can also offer a scholarship training program for those colleagues living less than 3 years in Spain. The creation of employment by Top Manta project for people who exercise street sales in our city, allows its administrative regularization and participation in the territory.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Our project has as main objective to continue looking for collective solutions for the problems faced by the more than 400 street vendors living in Barcelona (Spain), not only labor, but also legal, housing, training, etc. For this, it is essential to regularize our administrative situation. We believe that this project model can be extended globally to all vulnerable migrant groups in the world. This is how we understand self-management: political innovation for a more just and hopeful horizon.

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)

The project means a breakthrough for the normalization and integration of the migrant community within the city of Barcelona. The project has allowed the Popular Labor Union of Street Vendors to dignify our work, register our own logo and create our own business, with which we want to regularize the administrative situation of all the street vendors that live in Barcelona, integrate them into the city, make aware to the population on our current problem, eliminate discriminatory laws and racism.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

Top Manta project was born as a model of self-management and social transformation. According to the calculations, in Barcelona, for more than 10 years a group of between 400 street vendors remain permanently. The majority are young people from African countries, mainly Senegal. Top Manta project pursues the right to a dignified life and to get a job from the legal point of view. We want to demonstrate our capabilities and what we are worth, we want to work legally to contribute to the economy of our city, Barcelona. Since our creation we have achieved the regularization and integration of 85 colleagues through our struggle. We believe 'Nobody is Illegal' and thus through our brand and our activities we also want to eliminate racism and get the necessary support from society and political groups to modify the current legislation that discriminates against the poorest and most vulnerable collectives.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

The greatest achievement has been the elimination of stigma of our collective: now people ask what is behind the blanket. We are not only vendors, there is much more and people have lost their fear of asking us about our lives. A breakthrough for the normalization and integration of the migrant community within the city of Barcelona. When we launched the brand everyone was surprised. The essential thing has been the brand, but the fact that we have shown that we have capacity, that we are entrepreneurs and creative. People started then asking us for t-shirts, they wanted to buy Top Manta products and we didn't even have the resources to make them. As the project developed, we have managed to open our own shop-workshop in the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona (Spain). At present, our work is mainly serigraphy, sewing, both design and production of > 4,000 pieces/year of clothing. In addition, our group sees in the brand an opportunity to continue evolving towards social integration.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

Through our activities and our clothing brand Top Manta we want to make our situation known and that society sees us as we deserve, as what we really are: fighters, workers, with trades and with the desire to work without be daily harassed by the police. We are people who have put at risk our lives to access a honest and legal work. Thanks to the selfless support of PlayGround Do. the group of vendors created in 2017 our own line of designs, with which we narrate our trip in dinghy puting in risk our lives to the Spanish coast, the fight for our rights and the link we maintain with the culture of Africa. Likewise, we wanted our clothes to be of quality and represent our values, that is why we use environmentally friendly fabrics (such as Fair Trade cotton and recycled materials of the Continental Clothing brand) and also respect the labor rights of those who make them. ‘Legal clothing made by illegal people’ is the leit motiv of our collection.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

Our project has as main objective to continue looking for collective solutions for the problems faced by the more than 400 street vendors living in Barcelona, not only labor, but also legal, housing, training, etc. For this, it is essential to regularize our administrative situation. Becoming a Cooperative would allow us to enter into employment contracts for those who still cannot access them, to improve our working conditions and generate the possibility of hiring as many colleagues as possible. Not only to find work solutions but because work is the main way to acquire residence and work permits in Spain. At present, our work is mainly serigraphy, sewing, both design and production and sale of our own garments. However, our idea is to expand the possibilities of self-employment so that colleagues who have trades and knowledge can apply them in some type of service, promoting the presence of migrants in the cooperative world and favoring the development of a global social market.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

In the last year, the demand for Top Manta products has begun to grow and so has the interest of designers and other agents in the fashion world. We managed to open our own shop-workshop in the Raval neighborhood (Barcelona) and also acquired the necessary machines for screen printing. Our project is based on a code of common values: work and solidarity between us & with other vulnerable groups. Therefore, we believe that a commercial activity can have a social&solidarity function. We are committed to offering ecological, fair trade products and affordable screen printing prices; mainly, because groups and associations can screen their t-shirts/pieces. Likewise, our store is designed not only as a commercial space but above all as a meeting space, where different knowledge and needs are socialized in talks. We are convinced that promoting the presence of migrants in the cooperative world favors a sustainable development from an anti-racist perspective and improves the social market.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

A key moment for the group was the strategic alliance with PlayGround Do., carried out for one year (June 2017 - June 2018). The art department of the digital platform participated, as well as 15 professionals from different disciplines: sociologists, activists, political scientists, lawyers, designers, philosophers, artists, teachers and filmmakers. The initiative had a three-phase strategy: training (legal advice, marketing, branding and business), creation of a micro patronage through the crowfounding platform and the creation of the business and communication (presentation of the collection on a fashion show to sell our items and make ourselves known to the general public through the media). We have also had the constant support from “Tras la Manta” and “Espacio del Inmigrante” (local organizations) and free legal advice from Rizoma Lawyers, with whom we have designed a first phase of activity in the fashion sector towards our long-term objective: the creation our own Cooperative.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

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

  • Early Adoption: We have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have proof of user uptake (i.e. 16% to 49% of the target population or 1,000 to 50,000 users).

Group or Organization Name

The Popular Labor Union of Street Vendors of Barcelona, Spain (Sindicato Popular de Vendedores Ambulantes de Barcelona)

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

Our non-profit association is composed of migrants and racialized people as a collective that experienced displacement. We work permanently in the anti-racist struggle, to denounce and combat racism and colonialism. Our project is aimed at overcoming the exclusion suffered by our collective. Street vendors are victims of multiple discriminations: because of our race and class, because of the work we do and our socioeconomic status (such as housing, access to resources, etc.). Top Manta cooperative allows us to overcome the situation of the street that violates and criminalizes us, creating a space of security and common work, in which collectively we can create answers to the various problems that concern us. Our project and self-management model has begun to be implemented in other cities in Spain and we believe that it can inspire all vulnerable groups and extend to all countries of the world, so that migrants can work and reside legally in the country to which they migrate.

Website URL:

http://manteros.org/ https://www.instagram.com/topmanta_bcn/ https://www.facebook.com/SindicatoPopulardeVendedoresAmbulantes/ https://twitter.com/sindicatomanter

Type of submitter

  • We are a Cooperative or Community-Owned Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country

Spain

Organization Headquarters: City / State

Barcelona (Barcelona)

In preparation for expert feedback: What are three unanswered questions or challenges that you could use support on in these categories? These questions will be answered directly by experts matched specifically to your idea. (600 characters)

- How could we improve the message we want to give society to ensure that it understands the objective of our idea and the bridges we are building with the local community through our project? - What tactics or means do you advise us that we could use in the future to get our message and our idea goals to reach the world globally? - How do you advise us that we could raise society's awareness of our problem and achieve legislative changes in institutions that prevent discrimination against migrants and promote equality policies? - What alliances we could establish to increase our impact?

Did you use the resources offered during the Improve Phase (mentorship, expert feedback, community research)? (2000 characters)

Mentorship: we had a very constructive meeting with our assigned mentor, Tawfiq Abbud, that help us to identify some áreas that might be clarified in our idea. We learned how valuable is our idea and how it can change the lives of a lot of people, not only to our collective here in Spain but around the world as a model of self-management and advocacy that will inspire many other vulnerable groups globally. We have learned how important is to show to the community: the process how we plan to solve the legal status of the migrants (including statistics about the work we have done and how many lives we can change in a given time period if we get the funding), the legal journey for migrants in irregular situation and how is the process to get a legal work/residence permission in Spain and the connection we have with the local business and community through our project and activities. We have edited our idea adding new information & images and a complete business plan to include all this information. Experts feedback: from the valuable answers obtained from our expert (Swatee Deepak), we have learned that although we are currently carrying out many of the proposed initiatives (i.e collaborations with local students, artists, fashion designers, NGOs saving lives in the sea, attendance at European events such as City Rights United events and Permanent People's Tribunal) we can continue to improve and strengthen these collaborations to raise our message worldwide and achieve legislative changes. Community research: during the improve phase we have shared our idea to the migrant and local community through our social networks and we have organized an event with our local neighbours in Barcelona were we showed our project and our fight for our human rights. The comments and stories learned during this phase demonstrated a positive mentality change in our collective and the community as bridges are built as a benefit for all.

In what ways would potential BridgeBuilder funds allow you to pursue your idea that other funding opportunities have not? (1000 characters)

BridgeBuilder funds would be essential for us to develop the brand globally and reach our objectives: increase the production/sales of the brand's products in the online shop, the sale to other local business/spaces enabled in social events/fairs, increase our presence in human rights events, schools/universities, and to reach >140 street vendors contracted directly by the project and through our struggle getting occupational plans by the city council with laboral contracts of at least 1 year duration and achieve legislative changes against immigrants discriminatory laws. For this we would need to have a wider space to store the products, expand the silkscreen equipments, garments and sewing workshop, and have our own transport vehicles ($100K). It would also allow us to offer labor contracts to street vendors in our multi-service cooperative and implement advocacy & cooperation initiatives ($100K). The overall funding needed to accomplish these objectives is $200K.

What aspects or proportion of the overall idea would potential BridgeBuilder funds primarily support? (1000 characters)

BridgeBuilder funds could allow us to legalize a greater number of people in an irregular situation offering job opportunities and training scholarships and continue creating bridges for their inclusion, protection and recognition. The funds would also be used to make the brand more competitive in the fashion world to expand the brand and our message globally, also to have the necessary resources to participate in activities and events globally at universities/administration for the formulation of policies that can make a difference in the fight against poverty, inequality and the fulfillment of human rights in the world. We want to launch the 'International Day against Inmigration Laws'. With the funds, we would also want to set up cooperative projects with the farmers of our country of origin (Senegal) to contribute to its development and the end of poverty in Senegal.

What are the key steps or activities for your idea for implementation in the next 1-3 years? (1000 characters)

Our main activity will be to continue looking for collective solutions to the problems faced by the > 400 street vendors that live in Barcelona, not only labor, but also legal, housing, training, etc., regularize their administrative situation and integrate it into the city, raise awareness to the population about our current problem, continue strengthening bridges with the local community, eliminate racism and get the necessary support from society and political groups to modify the legislation that discriminates against the poorest and most vulnerable groups. Currently, through our struggle and our project we have achieved the regularization and work permit of 85 colleagues. Our goal is to achieve the regulation of 35-40 colleagues more to be contracted directly through our project by 2021 and cooperate with the local administration to establish occupation plans that involve labor contracts of at least one year duration for another ≥ 100 street vendors by 2021.

What will community-level impact look like over the timeframe of your idea? How will you determine whether or not you have achieved that impact? And what outstanding questions do you still have? (1000 characters)

IMPACT: By 2021, our goal is to achieve the regularization of ≥140 street vendors. Continue building bridges with local community: integrate our collective into society and modify the current legislation that discriminates against the poorest and most vulnerable collectives. Launch globally the ‘International Day Against Inmigration Laws’. Have our project as a model of self-management and advocacy that inspire many other vulnerable groups globally. MEASUREMENT: We will measure the number of colleagues that get their regularization through our project and struggle. We will also measure the number of followers in our social networks and events to measure the ties with the local community, inspire other vulnerable groups globally and change discriminatory laws. QUESTIONS: How can we work with the youth community of our origin country to prevent them from risking their lives and leaving their families behind in order to have a better life and eliminate poverty?

Describe the individual or team that will implement this idea (if a partnership, please explain breakdown of roles and responsibilities for each entity). (1000 characters)

The Labor Union is made up of more than150 members. There are 9 members who work and collaborate actively in the association and the Top Manta Project mainly in the following activities: design, sewing, screen printing and sale of our own fashion garments and other products (t-shirts, sweatshirt, bags, caps, among other accessories), as well as screen printing services. Training services and talks aimed at entities, groups, schools and in the public administration: training in African culture, anti-racism and in the rights of migrants. Social and volunteers networks, communication with the press and with other groups/human risghts associations/local commerces/artists/fashion designers. Organization of group trips to Senegal for cultural exchange and Senegalese food services, mainly in popular festivals, political, cultural meetings, etc. Please watch our video to know us better, learn about our history and what the Top Manta Project means to us.

Lastly, how did you apply new learnings to your idea? (1000 characters)

Thanks to the valuable comments of our mentor and expert, we have realized of the value of our idea and how it can help other vulnerable groups in the world, but we have also learned how important it is to know how to properly communicate our message to all our audiences and thus achieve a social transformation in the world. Thus, we have edited our idea to explain&make visual how is the legal journey for migrants in Spain and how we can solve the problem, how our brand and activities are integrating the collective within the society and our legal advocay activities to change legislation. We also added a complete business plan to our idea to include all this information. The community research showed to us how the project is helping migrants of the collective and that we are also building robust bridges with the local community, that participate not only by buying our products but also in our fight for a social transformation, making them participants of a global change.

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Team (3)

Top Manta's profile
Agustín's profile
Agustín Ortiz Herrera

Role added on team:

"Agustín Ortiz Herrera is an artist and activist from the local community (Barcelona, Spain); he has collaborated since the beginning with the project, being our inspiration and designer of the Top Manta logo, which made possible the beginning of the brand and our entire project, helping us also throughout the brand presentation process. Agustín has been by our side helping us in many processes and is currently collaborating with us in the project to help us to launch a new brand shoe product."

Cristian's profile
Cristian Palazzi

Role added on team:

"Cristian Palazzi (Director of PlayGround Do), is a philosopher, teacher and social activist of the local community (Barcelona, Spain). Thanks to the selfless support of Cristian and PlayGround Do. we managed to turn our initiative into a long-term entrepreneurship project. Cristian also helped us throughout the process of launching a crowdfounding, presenting the brand in a fashion show, the Graphite Pencil prize at the D&AD Impact Awards and is currently helping us launch new project designs."

86 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Mark Lugo
Team

Genius! Finding ways around the stumbling blocks created by greedy systems that always seem to benefit from both sides of the coin with or no little investment. DOPENESS defined.

Now - we (society at large) just need to work on the "de-brainwashing" of people who believe their life is worth something because of an overpriced brand (real or fake - they both are fake)... that somehow makes an inferiority complex superior.

BE YOUR OWN BRAND! TOP MANTA is GENIUS!

Photo of geoffrey mosigisi
Team

Hi, to you - top manta project

Congratulations!
Best
Geoffrey

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Many thanks geoffrey mosigisi !

Photo of Alejandra Aguilera
Team

Muchas felicidades !

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Muchísimas gracias Alejandra Aguilera !! :)

Photo of Swatee Deepak
Team

1. How could we improve the message we want to give society to ensure that it understands the objective of our idea and the bridges we are building with the local community through our project?

I think the message you’ve already got is very powerful - No one is illegal.

I would expand on this so it’s easier to grasp for all your audiences - the individual/public, government, critics and allies. Go through who you need to convince, what you want them to hear and go from there.

A way of doing this is having more case studies of the people who Top Manta is made up of and for. Showing how relatable their stories are to everyone else, e.g. having a desire to learn, to get opportunities, to live healthy and in safety, to be able to eat, to be alongside friends and family, to succeed but that factors beyond their control have stopped that - war, poverty, persecution.

You can then go onto explain some of the journey’s people went through to get to Spain, the relief of getting to Spain and wanting to be part of the beautiful city but what the realities have been, discrimination, racism etc. The case studies could then include what being part of Top Manta has meant for them: finding hope, community, solidarity, support, regaining dignity and reigniting hope.

The case studies can be on film, online, in print or social media and be able to reach different audiences.

I appreciate this is sensitive information so you can anonymise or change people’s names and not have photographs of people’s faces.

2. What tactics or means do you advise us that we could use in the future to get our message and our idea goals to reach the world globally?

Network with as many people as possible to get the message out and build support and solidarity for your work. My advice is always to focus your attention on supporting the immprovement of your work and the people you work with and share those stories to inspire networks globally.

You have so many stakeholders you can reach out to about your work, here are a few ideas:

Students - Can you speak to students at the local universities and colleges about your work? Maybe they can run fundraisers, amplify the stories of the cause, support in raising awareness and on your advocacy work to get local, national or international governments and decision makes to take more notice.

Fashion - There is a huge movement on sustainable fashion linked to rights of works and climate change caused by fast fashion. You already have links in the fashion industry - continue to nurture and speak to your contacts in those places, speak about your work in teh context of climate change, of worker rights, as anti-racist approachs.

NGOs - There will be NGOs who want to support your network of street vendors, those campaigning for refugee and migrants rights, access to healthcare and essential services. Look at how you can connect to them and build partnerships and alliances - the more associations you have, the more your message can grow.

Migrants rights networks - Do the same as above with networks, such as joining the European Network of Innovation and Inclusion. The more voices supporting you, the more people can hear it.

Continue doing the amazing work you do!

3. How do you advise us that we could raise society's awareness of our problem and achieve legislative changes in institutions that prevent discrimination against migrants and promote equality policies?

I think the work you are doing is already amazing. The messages and support seem to be helping to amplify your work and the needs of your movement but I understand Top Manta needs to continue to build momentum and voice for greater changes, such as legislative.

I think the case studies, mentioned above would help, together with data on who you are supporting, their ages, dependants, the types of exploitation they’ve been subjected to in terms of access to state sanctioned services: education, healthcare and housing.

It’s great that you are working with pro-bono lawyers on this work but it’s important to build links to NGO and Development networks working in the advocacy or campaigning space to demand changes in legislation at state level but also nationally and internationally. Linking upto organisations such as the Rights in Exile Programme, Amnesty International but also highlighting the work to Trust Conference /Thompson Reuters Foundation may help to highlight the work.

4. What alliances we could establish to increase our impact?

In addition to those mentioned above, linking to other groups working on migrant rights - helps you to build cross movement solidarity and increases your chances of the work staying on the agenda and not just being ‘on trend’ one year and not the next.

You may also want to reach out to SINGA who are opening a business lab in Barcelona - who is able to link up with them and to receive further support and advice.

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Dear Swatee Deepak ,

Thank you very much for all your valuable advice and suggestions. We have studied them in detail; we have seen that many of the proposals are already being carried out, but we will take it into account and improve relations with universities, schools and international groups. We are currently working with the Permanent People’ Tribunal (TPP) at European level, we have reached a complaint to the European Parliament in Brussels with them and we will continue to work with them to denounce all injustice, immigration problems and refugees. As a plan on this side, we want to try to pressure politicians to present a repeal of the law through initiatives such as the ”International Day Against Inmigrant Laws” that we want to launch in November with the support of local and European organizations. This month we also have several talks in universities as well as a project with 20 very popular fashion designers who will design 20 exclusive designs for us to be able to put them on sale in our online store. We have also collaborated with the Barcelona Design School (BAU) for new designs. We will study in detail all the extra proposals of alliances that you have provided us to continue expanding our message to the world and achieve great changes. With respect to introducing experiences of the group in our talks and publications, we believe that it is a very valuable material that can make the message better understood to all our audiences. We have tried to introduce these parts in our idea text and graphics and in our business plan, and we will develop them further in the coming months. We are also attending a local event with SINGA this month for further support. We want to thank you for studying our project so well to help us and for your words of support.

All the best,
Top Manta Team

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

These are my last 3 sets of important questions for you and your team before the final review stage begins.

Can you please list 3 bullet points - just one line each - short and sweet of what feedback you got from your mentor on your idea?
1.
2.
3.
Can you please list 3 bullet points - just one line each - short and sweet of what feedback you got from your user on your idea?
1.
2.
3.
Can you please list 3 bullet points - just one line each - short and sweet of what feedback you got from your expert on your idea?
1.
2.
3.

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Dear Bremley Lyngdoh ,

Please see below the answers to your last questions before the final review stage.

These are the 3 bullet points we got from our mentor on our idea:
1. Try to add some explanation about how we want to solve the legal status of the migrants, some statistics about the work we have done and how many lives we can change in a given time period if we get the funding.
2. Explain how the project helped to establish a good connection with the local community and local enterpreurs/fashion designers.
3. Include a business plan.

These are the 3 bullet points we got from our users on our idea:
1. Their comments helped us to see how our brand and activities are promoting the participation of migrants in the territory, and so their inclusion and recognition, and that we have now voice to defend the human rights that had been taken away from us.
2. The project constitutes an robust bridge with the local community that participate not only by buying our products, but also in our fight for a social transformation, making them participants of a global change and a more inclusive and sustainable development.
3. Thanks to this project the society have applauded our capacity for entrepreneurship, struggle and team work. People have begun to stop thinking that we are criminals and have lost the fear of asking ourselves about our lives.

These are the 3 bullet points we got from our expert on our idea:
1. We have learned how we expand our message this so it’s easier to be understand by all our audiences.
2. Networks that can help us to expand our message and to inspire networks globally: students, NGOs, fashion designers, human rights organizations. We are currently working with these networks but we got new global ideas for research.
3. We can reinforce our message with data on who we are supporting, their history, human rights violations and sanctioned services.

Thank you so much to you, our mentor Tawfiq Abbud  and expert Swatee Deepak , our local Open Ideo Barcelona Chapter and all the BridgeBuilder team for your help on this challenge. We have work very hard in this final stage and we have all our hope in reaching the final stage, that we hope to achieve with your kind support.

It has been a pleasure to work with you all these months.
All the best,
Top Manta Team

Photo of Swatee Deepak
Team

Sorry - forgot to intro myself. I'm Swatee and one of the expert reviewers. I love your project and hope my responses are helpful - Good luck!

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

I am happy to see the progress that you have made so far with the feedback you have got from your mentor. You should be receiving the answers on the 3 questions that you have sent to the expert by the 7th of October which you can then incorporate into your idea before the final evaluation deadline on the 14th of October.

Please remember to answer all the 5 additional questions on the platform when you have got all the updated information with you from all your consultations with your mentor, expert and users. All the best!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Great, thanks a lot for the information and support Bremley Lyngdoh .We will!

Photo of Maria Teresa Cocciarini
Team

Gracias por este fantástico trabajo!
Fuerza!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Gracias por tu apoyo y solidaridad Maria Teresa Cocciarini ! Seguimos!

Photo of Juan  Diotaiuti
Team

Bravisimo!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Gracias Juan!

Photo of Tatiana Bonastre
Team

Endavant, molt bona feina!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thank you Tatiana Bonastre  for your great support and help in becoming a cooperative and achieving our biggest dream that is to be able to work and exercise our trades. Thanks to great people like you we will achieve an important social change!

Photo of Agustín Ortiz Herrera
Team

How inspiring can be a project like this!! How necessary as well! We need to keep believing that yes!!! it is possible!!! Yes, there is another way of doing things, being together, helping each other. Congratulations "compas" of Topmanta!! You are really making a difference.

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thank you so much Agustín Ortiz Herrera for your significant contribution to this project. Thanks to your inspiration and your help with the design of the project logo, we were able to make our dream come true. Thank you for your unconditional support in our fight, for always being with us and being part of this great team!

Photo of Belén Suárez
Team

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Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much for your kind response and once you have received the valuable feedback from your mentor, please kindly share with us what steps you have taken to test your idea in the field with your users and how they feel about it after your consultation with them. Please post your thoughts here on the comments section next week after you know exactly what the users think of your idea. All the very best!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Dear Bremley Lyngdoh , thanks a lot for your proposal. During this improvement phase we have shared our idea to the community through our social networks and we have organized an event with our local neighbours in Barcelona, where we shared our culture and African food with the local community, as well as our project and the fight for our human rights. The comments and stories learned during this phase have demonstrated a positive mentality change in our collective and the community as bridges are built as a benefit for all. Their comments help us to see how our brand and activities are promoting the participation of migrants in the territory, and so their inclusion and recognition. The solidarity event between both communities showed to us that we are also building bridges with the local community that participate not only by buying our products but also in our fight for a social transformation, making them participants of a global change and a more inclusive and sustainable development. Our designs and activities speak of the African culture, which has showed that awakes a significant interest in our clients and promotes the interaction between both cultures. Their comments and feedback in this challenge showed to us that through the purchase of our products and participation in our activities, we are inviting the local (Spanish) community to collaborate in an important social change, which creates an important feeling of participation in a social transformation for a more hopeful world, as it was showed during the event we organized with our neighbours in Barcelona. This creates an robust bridge between both communities: the possibility of having a legal job increases acceptance and recognition by the local community of the host country. This dignifies not only the life of our collective, but also helps to establish ties with the host community, its integration and its demonstration of value and participation in the economy of the territory. Through our brand we can demonstrate to society our capacity for entrepreneurship, struggle and work. One of the main achievements of the project and the participation in this BridgeBuilder challenge has been the elimination of the stizmatization of the collective, people have begun to stop thinking that we are criminals and have lost the fear of asking ourselves about our lives. All this has facilitated the creation of new social ties with the local society in our city.

Photo of Roberta Vassallo
Team

Este proyecto es un gran ejemplo de innovación social que pone en el centro la capacidad de las comunidades migrantes de proponer soluciones alternativas a los problemas sociales. Es un proyecto de resiliencia que evidencia la necesidad de cambiar las políticas de inmigración! Felicidades!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Gracias al apoyo de la sociedad y de grandes personas como tú podremos conseguir juntos una transformación social y cambiar las politicas injustas y discriminatorias de inmigración. Nadie es ilegal! Muchisimas gracias por tu apoyo y solidaridad Roberta Vassallo !

Photo of Cloe Cala
Team

Projects like yours show that this humanity is still in time to make the world a better place to live all together. Hopefully the governments would take you as example instead of making your life more difficult. My respect and support!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

We hope this project can inspire also goverments to promote inclusive political processes and to respect the human rights. Work to survive is not a crime! Thanks a lot for your support Cloe Cala 

Photo of Karla Banderas
Team

Great job, great people, you are the example of unity, community work, join forces, dreams and compromise. All the best for you guys, congrats!!!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thank you so much Karla Banderas ! We are very grateful to have the support of great people like you. Together we can make big changes!

Photo of Paola Molina
Team

Gran capital humano!! Pequeñas personas haciendo grandes cosas!!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Muchas gracias Paola Molina por tu apoyo y solidaridad!

Photo of María González
Team

Apoyar este proyecto debería ser obligatorio. FAN!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Muchísimas gracias por tu gran apoyo María González !

Photo of Maira Conilatina
Team

Un proyecto muy necesario que da la oportunidad que las instituciones públicas no ofrecen para apoyar la integración de las personas inmigrantes. Gracias y enhorabuena por la iniciativa :D

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Exacto, lamentablemente así es. Muchas gracias por tu apoyo Maira Conilatina !

Photo of Molly Hall
Team

An absolutely brilliant initiative.

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thank you so much Molly Hall . We are very glad you support our initiative!

Photo of Biscotti Biscotti
Team

A light for our future!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thanks a lot @Biscotti Biscotti, we really hope so!

Photo of Davi Boom
Team

Revolutionary, beautiful, solidary..continue! We want more!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thank you @Davi Boom! We will continue working to improve the lives of migrants and achieve great social changes together!

Photo of Marta Vergara
Team

Thank you for the tireless work you do, despite all the opposition. Your resilience, ingenuity and strength should be an example for everybody. NOBODY IS ILLEGAL!!!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thank you so much Marta Vergara for supporting our fight. Nobody is illegal!

Photo of Áurea Martín
Team

Es un proyecto muy importante que ha establecido puentes ente las resistencias migrantes en Barcelona y el tejido activista y asociativo blanco de la ciudad.

Más allá de la participación de Playground Do en este proyecto, están las manos, energía y trabajo constante del Sindicato Popular de Vendedores Ambulantes y de personas que están apoyando al sindicato desde sus inicios, en la buena y las malas.

En torno al Sindicato y al proyecto Top Manta se ha creado toda una familia rebelde y revolucionaria que busca maneras de autogestionar sus vidas frente a leyes racistas que pretenden subyugar al migrante.

Es por esto que aplaudo, abrazo y apto al Sindicato Popular de Vendedores Ambulantes y a su proyecto Top Manta, igual que sus cenas manteras y todo tipo de proyectos que van creando.

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Muchísimas gracias Áurea Martín por tu apoyo incondicional y tu aplauso al proyecto. Juntos conseguiremos grandes cambios!

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Can you please confirm if you have made contact with your mentor and if you have agreed on a date to have your one hour check in call to discuss about your idea?

Can you please confirm if you have thought of 3 questions for your idea to post on your comments section that you would need an expert to answer by 20th September?

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Dear Bremley Lyngdoh , thank you for your message. We do confirm that we have been in contact with our mentor and we have scheduled a video call meeting with him for tomorrow. We are working as well on the questions for the experts and we will post them by September 20th.

Thank you!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Dear Bremley Lyngdoh , we have posted the questions we would like the experts to help us to answer. Thanks a lot!

Photo of Sevde Şengün
Team

Congratulations Top Manta Project  , you are on making it to the Improve Phase as part of the 40 Shortlisted Proposals!

Now the real improvement work begins so please prepare yourself to get constructive feedback from the mentors who will comment on your idea and experts who will question about your idea.

They will test the Desirability of your idea - if that is what people desire, they will test the Viability of your idea - if it is financially viable and they will test the Feasibility of your idea - if it is technically and organizationally possible to be executed in the real world.

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Dear Sevde Şengün , thank you so much for your message. We are very grateful to OpenIDEO  for believing in our project and helping us to give a voice to migrants and the most vulnerable. We are very excited to have moved to the Improve Phase as part of the 40 Shortlisted Proposals!

We are looking forward to start working with the experts and mentors of our idea and receiving feedbacks to improve our idea.

Thank you very much to the entire BridgeBuilder Team for all your support!

Photo of Alejandra Aguilera
Team

Hola Top Manta, I have always been a fan of your work, I have worked with the Union de Manteros in Madrid and I had been prototyping with them my project, I hope we can work together in the future and unite our forces. I would be delighted to work with you in Barcelona and co-create with your cooperative. https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/2019-bridgebuilder-challenge/review/my-inte-gration-co-op

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thank you very much Alejandra Aguilera . We will be delighted to discuss with you how we can join forces and enlarge both projects to give voice to the most vulnerable people, share our stories to defend our rights and achieve changes in the current legislation that criminalizes us and forces us to live on the street. Congratulations and thank you for your project!

Photo of Alejandra Aguilera
Team

Encantada de algún día poder trabajar con vosotros!

Photo of Miguel Garcia de Frutos
Team

Great idea! Well done, keep going guys!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thank you for your solidarity and supportMiguel Garcia de Frutos !

Photo of Laura Carolina
Team

Amazing initiative! All my support to them

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thank you so much for support our initiative Laura Carolina ! We wish you all the best!

Photo of Susana Martín Sánchez
Team

Añadir que también tuve la suerte de conocer la tienda y compartir un rato de charla con las personas que trabajan en el proyecto, y agradezco ese encuentro. Me encantó compartir tantas ideas acerca de este tema. Yo trabajo en lo social y me aportó mayor comprensión y me dio otras miradas que apoyan en mi trabajo. Gracias! Nadie es ilegal!
Cómo dicen en México, No hay Muro Capaz de Contener los Sueños!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Muchísimas gracias Susana Martín Sánchez  por apoyar nuestra idea. Compartimos contigo que ni el movimiento migratorio ni ninguna persona debería ser considerada ilegal. Con el proyecto esperamos poder resolver la exclusión legal y laboral que sufre nuestro colectivo y ayudar a todas las personas vulnerables a poder desarrollar sus sueños de trabajar, promover la presencia de personas migrantes en el mundo cooperativo y favorecer el desarrollo de un mercado social a nivel global. Esperamos poder volver a verte pronto en nuestra tienda! Gracias por tu solidaridad!

Photo of Susana Martín Sánchez
Team

Grandísimo proyecto! Me parece una de las ideas más geniales que he visto en tiempo como forma de generar alternativas reales y dar voz y visibilidad a uno de los problemas que sufre el colectivo migrante. En otros países se sucede de otras formas, pero está me parece una vía que puede dar muchas formas a otras y que al final pone voz al eterno debate abierto de que las personas no son ilegales, el movimiento migratorio no puede ser un acto ilegal. Gracias por generar voz y acción política y social. Suerte! Yo os seguiré y os apoyaré!

Photo of mayte saavedra
Team

Gran proyecto y grandes personas! Conozco la tienda y me sentí muy bien acogida. Mi apoyo total a su proyecto para que puedan vivir dignamente. Nadie es ilegal! Papeles para todos y todas YA!! Todos tenemos derecho a una vida digna porque somos iguales!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Muchas gracias por tu apoyo y solidaridad mayte saavedra ! Nos alegra mucho saber que grandes personas como tú apoyáis nuestro proyecto y nuestra lucha para poder acceder a un trabajo digno. Esperamos verte de nuevo pronto! Un abrazo grande

Photo of Ana Alarcón
Team

Los productos son de my buen calidad con un precio justo. La atención es personalizada, además todas las personas que atienden son muy amables. Y no dudes en preguntar sobre el proyecto, ellos te lo explican y te aclaran todas las dudas. Ningún ser humane es ilegal, papeles para tod@s porque la tierra debe ser libre como el cielo.

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Muchas gracias Ana Alarcón ! Estaremos encantados de recibirte de nuevo en nuestra tienda y compartir contigo nuestro proyecto. Nadie es ilegal! Un gran abrazo

Photo of Mar Pulido
Team

no one is illegal! you are such an inspiration, I hope the best for all of you

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thank you so much for your support and good wishes Mar Pulido !

Photo of Tatiana Vanegas
Team

I love this project, such a great initiative!!! I wish would be more people like you guys, the world needs it! I wish you all the best, you have all to win. ��❤️

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Dear @Tatiana Vanegas, thank you very much for your solidarity and support! Wish you all the best

Photo of Carolina Jiménez
Team

! Me encanta el proyecto ¡ Es una excelente iniciativa, les deseo la mejor suerte

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thank you for your support Carolina Jiménez ! Gracias por su apoyo!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Top Manta Project: Nobody is ilegal very important initiative and tough challenges like street selling. I have few questions.
Is the Streetsellers Union owning the Top Manta brand or is owned by individual people or organization?
How would you scale your initiative to other cities (or countries?) ?
It would be great if refugees from other part of the world could sell their designs, crafts and textiles online through your webshop.

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Dear Maurizio Bricola ,

Thank you so much for your support, questions and comments.

Top Manta brand has been created by the Popular Labor Union of Street Vendors of Barcelona as a social project. The Top Manta project has just begun, right now we have only one physical store. Once we have all the tools and resources to develop the brand, we want to have a physical site in all cities and in all countries, we want to grow more, our idea is not only to concentrate only here in Barcelona, because there are many vulnerable people who need to be hired by a social system, other than a capitalist system. Our project is social, it does not consist of 4-5 people who, when the project grows, will be millionaires. When the project grows, there will be a lot of income, the people who have created the project will receive a salary as workers, they will not divide the benefit. What we need right now to be able to develop the project are funds, we do not have the necessary tools to grow since we need to have a very large space and all the materials we need to have a complete screen printing workshop that has all the machines we need , also a sewing workshop that has all the machines we need and finish the constitution of the cooperative we want to do, which will be a multi-service cooperative. Once we have all the necessary funds, this cooperative could help all the vulnerable people who have a trade but do not have documents to reside/work in the country or have no way to develop it. These people may work as freelancers with the cooperative. For all this we need funds to do so. We have ideas to develop many more projects, such as restaurants, sustainable crops, etc ... but we cannot develop it until we have enough funds to carry it out.

Our online store is not yet available. It is expected to begin in the coming months. With regard to the idea of selling products manufactured by refugees worldwide in the online store, we have to study it further because we have not yet started selling our own textiles in the online store. Once it starts, we could evaluate that proposal and thus be able to help all vulnerable people.

Photo of Mariela Brito
Team

Love your project Top Manta Project: Nobody is ilegal ! Wish you all the best!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thanks a lot for your support Mariela Brito . Muchas gracias!

Photo of Uchenna Okafor
Team

What a noble method of solving human need. However, are there disabled persons among you? If yes, how are they accommodated in this design? You may agree with me that no group is ever more vulnerable than the disabled persons, especially in emergency, racism, instability, and disaster situation.

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Dear Uchenna Okafor , thank you so much for your message. There are currently no disabled people within the Barcelona street vendor collective, however we recognize that disabled people would be within the most vulnerable group in our community and it would be within our responsibilities to be able to help these people. Currently our project is beginning, but it is our goal to be able to help the most vulnerable groups in our city, such as disabled migrants, whether they are street vendors or not, when our social project grows. Our project currently helps with all the problems that our community suffers, such as the anxiety and psychological problems that many of our colleagues suffer due to the continuous persecutions and racism they suffer daily while trying to work to survive.

Photo of Mabel Pr
Team

Just brilliant. Mucha suerte!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thank you Mabel Pr ! Same to you!

Photo of Mari Huasasquiche
Team

The OpenIDEO Barcelona Chapter is suuuper happy to see you here Top Manta Project: Nobody is ilegal . Welcome to the challenge!! ❤️

Photo of Top Manta Project
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Thank you so much for your support OpenIDEO Barcelona Chapter! :)

Photo of Linde Lamboo
Team

Hi Top Manta Project: Nobody is ilegal Really liking your project! Lovely that you've been receiving such positive feedback from the local community as well!

Do I understand correctly that your next steps are to scale up the production of garments?

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Hi Linde! Thanks a lot for your feeback! Yes, our goal is to continue growing to be able to get all the street vendors out of the street so they can work and reside legally in Spain. Next steps are to open a new store and online shop, this will mean having to significantly increase the production of our garments.
Our project and self-management model has begun to be implemented in other cities in Spain and we believe that it can inspire all vulnerable groups and extend to all countries of the world, so that migrants can work and reside legally in the country to which they migrate, be able to demonstrate their worth, their knowledge and culture, have a dignified life and strengthen ties with the host community.

Thanks a lot for your support!

Photo of NDEF Cameroon
Team

Hi Top Manta Project, welcome to the Challenge. We wish you success in your work!

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thank you so much NDEF Cameroon! Same to you. Your project with the population North West Region of Cameroon is very interesting. We wish you all the success!

Photo of Dieudonne Mudekuza
Team

All the support from Malawi. Nobody is illegal! Ninguna persona es ilegal.

Photo of Top Manta Project
Team

Thank you for your support Dieudonne! Greetings to Malawi