TSF expands its Digital Information Diffusion project in Mexico

Publication date: Jun 17, 2019 06:15 PM - Last modication date: Jun 28, 2019 06:11 PM
“Suddenly, a lot of people arrive and it is not possible for us to go one by one and provide them the information they need. So screens are an essential element, they facilitate our day to day work” Daniela, CAFEMIN shelter manager, explains. Building on the positive results of the pilot project, TSF installed its Digital Information Diffusion System in three new migrant shelters: CAFEMIN shelter (Mexico City), Albergue Belén (Tapachula), and Desayunador Salesiano Padre Chava (Tijuana). A total of 8 shelters are now benefiting from this activity.

TSF system helps migrants stay safe and make the most informed decisions possible. “Migrants in general are significantly unaware of Mexican law when they arrive… they are very vulnerable regarding their human rights… it is also important for them to know where to go to receive healthcare, which is the route to get to a medical centre or an hospital” Juan Carlos, manager of the shelter in Tapachula, explains. In order to meet this need, the presentations showed on the screens include legal advice on what migrants’ rights are in terms of healthcare, legal protection or regularisation processes. They also include information on what to do if they have been victims of violence or abuse as well as the contacts of their country’s consulates.

In addition, the content displayed provides advice on how to remain safe along the migratory route and details of where migrant shelters are located. Finally, the presentations are constantly updated with fresh news and alerts on the latest updates and migration measures as well as with any relevant information that could help them to make informed decisions.

Migrants in Mexico City watching the screen installed by TSF

All the information displayed is provided by reliable sources such as the United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) or the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and adapted to the format of the presentations by our local staff. “The content is very easy to understand, with a simple language and the pictures are attractive so that people don't get bored when reading” Daniela continues. Indeed, TSF teams worked hard not only on the content, but also on the design of the presentations. The amount of text on each slide has been reduced and more graphic elements have been included. Considering that only 26% of the migrants have completed primary school education, it is essential to ensure the information is understandable by anyone.

The content of the slides has also been more tailored to each shelter location. There is a section common to all shelters with generic information relevant to all regions, a regional section with specific advice regarding risks, hazards and news for each area, and finally a local section with useful information on the passage along each specific shelter.

Striving for a better future and often prone to take risks they wouldn’t normally take, because what they are leaving behind seems always worse to them. Migrants along the Central American migratory route left their home countries for many reasons: difficult economic conditions, lack of jobs or high violence rates. No matter the reason of their decision, or how well they prepared their travel, they are in a new country, with limited resources, limited access to information, limited knowledge of the risks to which they may be exposed and highly vulnerable to any sort of trafficking and exploitation.

Through this system, TSF is aiming to protect them and give them as many elements as possible to make the best possible decisions for their future, while significantly facilitating the work of the local organisations managing the shelters, as confirmed by Juan Carlos: “because of the work and the service we provide it would be too complicated for us to talk to each migrant individually and explain all the information and requirements... with one screen they remain informed the whole day in every instant.