IOM Raises Awareness on Impacts of Irregular Migration in Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State

Between 16 March and 3 April, IOM organized a forum theatre event and a soccer tournament at the Dollo Ado, Melkedida and Boklomayu Refugee Camps in Somali Regional State, Ethiopia, to raise awareness on the impacts of irregular migration.

These events for host community and Somali refugee youth were organized in collaboration with Ethiopia’s Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), Right to Play, the Dollo Ado District Youth and Sport Office, and other youth associations.

IOM has led grass-roots awareness-raising on the impacts of irregular migration in Ethiopia, through unique approaches, such as community conversations and forum theatre events. These aimed to enhance and strengthen the existing community-based behavioural change and communication strategy on the prevention of irregular and secondary migration difficulties through youth engagement.

IOM has also provided computers, printers, generators, sportswear, equipment and facilities, multi-media equipment and furniture to youth centres in the region. 

In total, 32 youth teams took part in the soccer tournament in three locations (Dollo Ado District 16, Melkedida Refugee Camp 8 and Boklomayu 8). The winning teams were Iftiin in Dollo, Abasina in Melkedida and Dawa in Boklomayu.

Forum theatre, created as part of the “Theatre of the Oppressed”, is a tool for exploring and rehearsing possible actions that people can take to transform their world. Forum theatre events were staged in 15 public places of Dollo woreda districts for the host community, as well as Melkedida and Boklomayu refugee camps. The audience were young people and people in public areas like schools, market place sport competitions. The forum theatre events reached around 28,000 people from which close to 9,000 were female. The drama and music pieces at the theatre were prepared by members of 15 youth associations.

The awareness-raising through forum theatre and the soccer tournaments was implemented through funding by the Government of Japan. The event was a part of a larger project entitled, Improved Living Conditions of Host and Refugee Communities from Somalia in Ethiopia to Promote Social Cohesion.

For further information, please Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Ethiopia. Tel: +251 911 63 90 82, Email:


Young Somali refugees play against each other in a soccer tournament organized by IOM. Photo: IOM