Many of us are privileged to experience voluntary migration, whether it is through studies, work
Why has migration become a global puzzle? Recently I was a participant of a festival by a volunteer-run organization known as ISFiT. This year’s theme for this festival was Migration and took place in Trondheim, Norway. They invited 500 inspired, solution-oriented youth participants from over 150 countries to come to Trondheim. This was to create a dialogue concerning this theme and seek solutions for challenges facing migration in the world today. This festival sought to answer this question and find solutions for this problem and identify the positive and negative impact on society.
I applaud them for picking this topic because of the current situations the world is facing right now.
There are many people out their forced out of their homes or countries and plunged into the fear of the unknown, not by their fault. We have the migrant caravan from Honduras to the US, the Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar fleeing to Bangladesh, the armed conflict in Syria resulting in a refugee crisis, just to name a few devastating situations. There are also environmental reasons for forced migration like drought, famine, hurricanes and flooding, earthquakes and
The festival was split into twenty different workshops each with a different topic to be discussed under the theme. They include but not limited to; Refugee crisis, Global Migration, National Identity, Politics and power, Faith Movements, Brain Drain or Brain Gain. (See more at https://www.isfit.org/page/about)
I was in the refugee crisis
After workshops, we had plenary sessions where guest speakers were invited to strike a conversation with us and give us insight
Another highlight of ISFiT is the Student Peace prize which honors the works of students or student organization that strives towards peace and understanding rather than violence. A part of this ceremony is the Walk of Peace where the participants walk through Trondheim with lit torches and candles as an honor for the festival.
My experience at ISFiT was magical to say the least. It was too good and the amount of time was so short. The festival helped us bridge that gap, as were representatives of some sorts, of our countries. Imagine having over 150 nationalities just at the tip of your fingertips. To interact with, to quash negative stereotypes, to create lifelong friendships with, to network with, to borrow from each other and to have fun with.
It was a bittersweet moment when we had to leave and go back to our countries. Regardless, the bonds we forged and the memories we have are long-lasting. The souvenirs, a physical manifestation of the people we carry in our hearts and hopefully meet again one day.