Spagna 29.334 / -16.68

“My first contact with the project was in the period prior to its approval by the European Union in 2016 and 2017. Later in 2018, in April, I had my first contacts with the other Spanish partners of Amref Salud Africa to prepare for the initial session of the project in Lampedusa, which was held in May of that year,” says Julio Ramallo Rodríguez, from the Unidad del Banco de Datos y Centro de Documentación of the Cabildo of Tenerife, the self-governing body of the Spanish island.

“My work as project coordinator in the Cabildo of Tenerife and the necessary coordination with the other Spanish partners of Amref Salud Africa focused on achieving the objectives set by the project leaders,” Julio says. “Working in such a large local government does not facilitate the daily work and the necessary dedication to it, which led on some occasions to a slow response to the overall demands of the project. However, looking back, I believe that despite the difficulties, we were able to achieve the fundamental goals of Snapshots.”

Partly thanks to the collaboration with Kenya-based Amref Salud África, which is the largest international non-governmental organization based in Africa, aiming to increase sustainable access to health, and running programs in over 35 countries in Africa with a 60-year track record of engagement with governments, communities and partners. One of its offices is based in Madrid, Spain, focused on contributing to the safety and health of the migrant population from Africa to Spain.

“In my professional career, the most important thing in developing the projects you participate in is to reach a network of contacts that bring you closer to different experiences that can enrich your professional development, as well as contribute your experience to the rest of the partners,” Julio says. “We expected to bring the voices of the protagonists of border territories – both public administrations, civil society organizations and migrant people – to the general public, and to carry out joint advocacy actions to elevate voices from the border to higher levels, reaching national parliaments and the European Parliament in order to achieve real changes in migration policies.”

“If I have to choose a moment from this journey, the joint celebration that the Spanish partners held in Madrid on the occasion of the celebration of October 3, 2019 to make it the European Day of Remembrance and Reception was important. “That day, at the Impact Hub Madrid, “Voces de Frontera” took place, the event of the Snapshots from the Borders project, led by Amref Salud África and El Cabildo de Tenerife,” Julio recounts. TEDx Talks on migration processes were organized, where people who now live in Tenerife and Madrid spoke. “The introduction of the vision of the migrant population in the framework of the project, and that it is not only the vision of the European host countries, seemed fundamental to us,” says Ana Gallego, from Amref.

“The island of Tenerife participates in various national and international networks that address different issues and interests. These include the Spanish Network of Intercultural Cities, our participation in the Council of Europe’s Intercultural Cities Program, etc. We realize that participation in networks is essential to better address the challenges we face – says Julio – According to recent studies that we have developed through the Immigration Observatory of Tenerife (OBITen), our society is very involved in the processes of reception and we understand that we maintain good standards of solidarity with the people who visit us. Finally, our memory is very active, we must not forget that not many decades ago we were emigrants ourselves.”

“I think that on many occasions the project lacked communication between the partners and better planning of the activities carried out. Secondly, a better dissemination of the common results obtained in the different activities of the project,” says Julio, “but in general, the most relevant experience I can take is to have shared the different activities with the Spanish partners and to have been able to involve many local governments, entities and NGOs in the different processes that we have developed over the years.”

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