The story “The Adventures of MAFU” aims to raise awareness among children and teenagers of forced displacement

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and Fundación de las Ámericas (FUDELA) have presented the cartoon ‘The Adventures of MAFU’, an awareness-raising tool for children and adolescents that seeks to show and represent the different causes of forced displacement, as well as the importance of integration processes in host communities.

“The Adventures of MAFU” tells the story of a little fox who has witnessed how different events can put people’s safety at risk and force them to flee  at any moment in search of somewhere that allows them to live in peace and fraternity. MAFU goes from having a quiet life in Sumak Llakta (a beautiful city in Kichwa), full of laughter and good times, to being forced to flee to Chiri Llakta (a cold area in Kichwa) where he will have to join forces with his new friends to maintain the peace he cherishes so much.

This cartoon is special because it comes directly from the imagination and experiences of children and adolescents who have experienced forced displacement firsthand,” said Magda Medina, deputy representative of UNHCR Ecuador. “With it, we aim for people to modify the stereotypes that do not allow them to see the tough experiences that people forced to flee go through in search of a safe place.

The authors of “The Adventures of MAFU” are part of Change the World, one of the community processes led by UNHCR and FUDELA in the province of Esmeraldas. The program seeks to strengthen the inclusion and leadership of children and adolescents through different activities, including art and painting. Thanks to this initiative and the support of the Esmeraldas Museum and Cultural Center, through the “Tambos de Lectura” Project, they were able to realize their dream of publishing a story that reflects their feelings about displacement.

Changing lives is a task that requires us to be closer to refugees and people in human mobility,” said Veronica Escobar, executive president of FUDELA. “Community activities do not end with a certificate, that is the beginning for them to use all the skills that we seek to strengthen in our processes,” she added.

Ecuador has historically recognized more than 74,000 refugees, most of them from neighboring Colombia, and is home to more than 500,000 refugees and migrants from Venezuela, according to estimates by the Working Group for Refugees and Migrants (WGRM). Of these, 43% are children and adolescents.

UNHCR and FUDELA work together to generate spaces for integration through art, sport and culture in neighborhoods and localities of difficult access, where many refugees and other forcibly displaced people have found a home and an opportunity to restart their lives and integrate into their new host communities.

The story “The Adventures of MAFU” is available for free download at the following link

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