In a country which hosts more than 10 officially recognized ethic groups on its territory and where, according to the numbers provided by the Office for National Statistics, the population, during the whole 2009, increased of about 147,000 unities due to the migratory fluxes, it is quite clear that the voice of migrant people needs to be raised, especially on election time. That’s exactly with this goal that a group of people, migrant themselves, decided to gather and set up a new association with its related newspaper, called “Migrant Voice”.
The founders of the association - as explained to us Nazek Ramadan - Migrant Voice’ speaker-person and Director - are originally from many different places but they spent in UK the most of their lives. But, even though these people wear English brands, they make use of the NHS for their health care and they grew or will grow British kids, they have their roots and, often, also their hearts somewhere else. They are the modern migrants: still first generation, which came here looking at the United Kingdom as the new America and who found their own spot in this giant melting-pot. Migrant Voice’s goal is to bring migrants together to make them able to develop their own strategies, to strengthen their voice and to get represented inside the media and also at a policy making level. The media is the first tool necessary to educate people: that’s why Nazek pushed so much to release the first issue as soon as possible, even if no one inside the Migrant Voice staff is a professional journalist. They all are simply human beings with lots of stories to tell and, also, lots of questions to pose to our politicians. For Nazek and for the big team who contributed to the released of the first issue, the important was to make migrant people able to tell about their stories on their own, without the need of someone else reporting about their issues.
During the newspaper presentation, who was held on Friday 26 of March at The Guardian head office, many names spoke, pulling for Migrant Voice, as: Natasha Walter, Journalist, Writer and Coordinator for Women for Refugee Women; Don Flynn, Migrants Rights’ Director; Wilf Sullivan, TUC Race Equality Officer. All these people supported the project from the beginning, offering their skills and professionals. Though from a financial point of view, the Migrant Voice project is currently auto-financed.
What is important to stress is that the newspaper hasn’t been created to be read by migrants only, but it aims to reach all the levels of British society and mainly British-born citizens, to sensitize everyone about everyday life small problems of migrant people. The newspaper has got a national circulation and, during its presentation, Nazek appealed to whoever is traveling around UK, from now till the election, to get in contact with her in order to take some copies and make the distribution as more spread as possible. And don’t forget to have a look at the newborn website: http://www.migrantvoice.org/