Friday, January 21, 2011

Migrant Workers Task Force Kicks Start

We had a brilliant meeting this week aimed at developing some tangible ideas for the Migrant Worker Task Force.

The idea is to set up a center or a core group with an eye towards improving the condition of migrant workers in this country, particularly with respect to education and social services.

Action proposals:
-Language Classes
Classes to be taught each Sunday in Hamra for Arabic, English, and French. Teaching style will be flexible (one-on-one, classes) initially to get a feel for student needs and abilities. First class will be February 6, giving us time to outreach and engage in publicity.

Tasks:
Publicity: Flyers will be translated and printed for distribution. Once these are ready, Task Force members will be contacted to target geographical regions- Hamra, Dawra, others so as to distribute flyers to local shops/businesses oriented towards migrant workers. In addition, Aimee, Insan, and Caritas will be contacted to help spread information. We will be assigning geographic locales to members interested in helping.

Primary Contacts for Action proposal: Alex & Farah

-Vigils for Deceased Migrant Workers
We will target the homes of migrant workers who have been abused, murdered, or have committed suicide in the Beirut area with vigils and information so as to stigmatize this violence and inform communities about its presence.

Tasks:
Formulate vigil strategy. How will the vigils look? What items do we need (candles, informational flyers, posters)?
Track down residence information of abusing households.

Primary contacts for Action proposal: Lioba & Alex

-Migrant Workers’ Guide to Lebanon
We will work to document and record various community centers, restaurants, shops, hotlines, social services, and hotlines available to migrant workers in Lebanon. This will serve as a resource both for migrant workers (connecting them to larger community, creating unified list of services at their disposal) and local residents (who may wish to frequent these locations to increase business at migrant-worker targeted locales, particularly restaurants which may be migrant-worker owned).

May initially take form of blog (for example, restaurant reviews & interviews with owners to increase publicity) and online resource before taking booklet form. Use of restaurant catering for cultural events also a possibility.

Tasks: To be assigned
Primary contact for Action Proposal: Alex, Farah

-Resource Center
To collect various magazines, music, movies in the languages of migrant workers to create a free library for migrant workers.
Tasks: initial survey of locales offering such goods, report back on what options are.

Primary contact for Action proposal: Rana

Our next meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 26 at 530 PM, Nasawiya House, Nouse.
If you would like to join any of the present initiaitves or suggest others, please write me at farah @ nasawiya dot org

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