SIHMA has now published his Annual Report 2018, full of information on the organisation and the reports concerning the activities of the year 2018-19.
You can find here the Message from the Executive Director and from the Board member and CPLO Director, Peter John Pearson.
Dear colleagues and friends of our Institute,
The release of an official report is always a precious opportunity to look at the many things done during this last year, the steps we moved forward, as well as the mistakes we can learn from and the new ideas and projects that keep us busy every day.
What is clear to my mind, after my first year as Executive Director, is how SIHMA is growing: renforcing its identity and mission, multiplying activities, and creating networks.
Focused on every aspect of migration, we aim at investigating the social, economical, and political implications of this phenomenon for migrants, refugess, IDPs and all the categories of people that are part of human mobility in Africa.
On the one hand, as a Study centre that is gaining its role and reputation in the academic field, we try to do our work with professional skills and rigorous methods, being accurate in collecting and analysing data for our research and surveys. On the other hand, faithful to our vision and original ethos, inspired by our Scalabrinian values and identity, we take a deeper look into migration through our specific holistic approach, respectful of the dignity and the material and spiritual nature and needs of every human being.
This is what you will find, flipping the pages of this eport, full of information, news and infographics related to our activities: people behind the figures.
This is because we are moved by an ethos to play a key role in the research on the migratory phenomenon, which pushes us to do it with passion and commitment, in partnership with many other stakeholders: we hope that every step we achieve in research, formation and dissemination of findings can be a real help and an instrument of transformation, empowerment and resilience for people on the move in this wonderful and troubled continent, that is Africa.
Filippo Ferraro, SIHMA Executive Director
In recent years the focus of the traumas around the refugee and migrant experiences has been largely seen through its impacts on and narratives emerging from Europe and North America.
Sadly the clamor on those continents has rendered the vast movement of people in Africa almost invisible and silent.
It is estimated that at least 26% of all people on the move internationally, move in and through the vast expanses of the African continent. Some set the figure much higher.
Whatever the percentages, each statistic represents a person with individual hopes and dreams, in addition to their anxieties and fears, legacies of danger and vulnerability.
As with every vulnerable group, any desire to accompany such people, to give substance to their dreams and sustain their hope demands a thorough understanding of their realities.
SIHMA stands amongst the few institutions in Africa that seeks to understand the multiple dynamics that contribute to such accompaniment, speaks into those diverse situations, and honour the values embedded in the noble protocols and policies which govern this universe.
SIHMA is committed to providing a thorough intellectual grounding, through sound analysis and the development of a rights-based praxis and pointed advocacy for displaced persons.
Without such research and without developing life-giving synergies, the entire accompaniment process would be faulty and soulless.
Thus, SIHMA provides a vital service to understanding the realities of the vulnerable people on the move and developing paths beyond the pathologies that often ensnare them. This is an exceptionally valuable service.
SIHMA also brings to the table a powerful wisdom drawn from the deep wells of its faith foundation. In a moment of history so distorted by cheap populism and sound bites, faith provides another way of seeing issues, another means of enriching the mind, and of expanding the heart so that we, who are honored to be part of SIHMA’s ministry, can give public significance to our privat beliefs.
I think of SIHMA as a laboratory for new and creative ways of crafting life-giving environments, a platform for multidisciplinary conversations in this contested domain and an energy for doing advocacy that allows the continent, in the poignant words of the Nobel laureate Chief Albert Luthuli, ‘to be a home for all.’
SIHMA is already a microcosm of this shared home and a place where study is at the service of growth into a fuller humanity.
When I think of SIHMA and the populations it serves, I often think of Shakespeares’ words that ‘we know what we are but we know not what we may be.’
SIHMA dreams and works strenuously to accompany people into being the best person they can be.
Fr. Peter John Paerson
SIHMA’s Board member and Director of CPLO
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