And the winner is… Somalia's "Saving Migrants Lives” Entry! (It almost looks like it was planned…)

By Amy Rhoades

What are the chances that of all the vibrant diverse #MigrationMeans photos submitted over the past six months, that the winning photo would be the very (and only) one that carries the exact same message selected by DG Swing last month as this year’s International Migrants Day theme ‘Saving Migrants Lives’?

With one tweet, the smiling group of young fishermen and women in Somalia shared their message with the world: “#MigrationMeans saving migrants’ lives because we all deserve to live”

To all our colleagues at IOM Somalia, a hearty congratulations for receiving 230 votes for the winning photo on Facebook! The top two runners up from OIM Las Americas and IOM Nairobi also did an excellent job, garnering over 180 and 130 votes respectively.

Six months ago, we invited you: "Tell us what #MigrationMeans to you." We weren’t sure what to expect, but the responses begain to pour in from across the globe, far surpassing our expectations. They spoke of the hopes and the challenges, the opportunities and the frustrations of being a migrant in today’s world.

Through the #MigrationMeans campaign, IOM missions have cultivated conversations on social media to tell stories of migration from all over the world.

Since the campaign begin in June 2014, over 4,400 #MigrationMeans posts have been shared via social media with more than 50 IOM missions and regional offices participating in the campaign. The #MigrationMeans Thunderclap Campaign for World Humanitarian Day (19 Aug) reached a global audience of over 580,000 people and posts regarding the #MigrationMeans campaign reached 65,896 Facebook users.

The aim of the campaign was to show the world that migration has many facets and that the projects that IOM so successfully carries out are all relevant to the meaning of migration. We received outstanding contributions from all corners of the world including IOM staff, partner agencies, donors, migrant and crisis-affected communities as well as the general public. This campaign has helped to showcase the many diverse areas in which IOM works and highlight IOM’s role as the world's leading migration agency.

On International Migrants Day 2014, the top photos from the #MigrationMeans campaign were announced according to the results of the popular vote on Facebook. Congratulations again to all of the top 10 finalists!

1. IOM Somalia (Migration Means saving migrants lives because we all deserve to live)
2. OIM Las Americas (Migration Means integration)
3. IOM Nairobi (Migration Means my culture, my way of life)
4. IOM Somalia (Migration Means reuniting with my family)
5. IOM South Africa (Migration Means multicultural society)
6. IOM South Africa (Migration Means uniting Africa thru fashion)
7. IOM South Africa (Migration Means reaching out to the world)
8. IOM Somalia (Migration Means say no to trafficking)
9. IOM Somalia (Migration Means new opportunities for the youth)
10. IOM Laos (Migration Means having a new friend, home and going to school)

Thank you for your participation and sharing with the world what #MigrationMeans to you and the communities IOM serves!

See the other entries: