Thousands of women from the eastern Indonesian island of Sumbawa migrate to work in the Middle East. A staggering proportion experience abuses of the worst kind. Existing interventions struggled to connect and resonate locally.
We invested heavily in understanding local dynamics and the stumbling blocks other interventions had faced.
What we found was people still wanted to travel abroad to work and downplayed the dangers to themselves and to their communities when they returned home, often with little or no money and scars from their time abroad.
We worked with local civil society organisations to design an intervention based around the principles of maximizing knowledge and minimizing personal and financial risks. There were two parts to this:
- A public information campaign to raise awareness of the risks, costs and alternatives to labour migration as well as strategies to maximise the benefits of labour migration.
- Mobilizing a network of local NGOs to engage directly with individuals and provide assistance on a case-by-case basis. For example, building the financial literacy of prospective migrants so that labour migration might bear financial fruit.