The COVID-19 pandemic turned has turned the lives of millions of workers around the world upside down. However, it has been particularly disruptive for migrant workers. More than 176,000 migrant workers have officially returned to Indonesia during the pandemic after losing their employment overseas due to the COVID-19 outbreak in destination countries. Upon their arrival, they also face hostile receptions for creating additional strains on the economy and causing fears about COVID-19 infection.

In addition, the Government of Indonesia had to postpone the departure of thousands of migrant workers who want to work abroad. This affects many aspects, especially in the economic sector. Many Indonesian migrant workers find it difficult to fulfill their daily needs since they don’t have any income.

Responding to the situation, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in cooperation with national and local government partners, with financial support from the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), has supported a range of actions to mitigate the health and socio-economic impact of the pandemic on migrant worker households, in particular those who have returned to Indonesia. One of the actions is launching the RELUME video blog (vlog) series to bolster peer-to-peer messaging, “from migrants, for migrants,” that serves as a catalyst for spreading fact-based information related to COVID-19 and combat myths and develop migrants’ ability to express themselves creatively on digital platforms.

RELUME is a 5-episode video blog series that tell stories about the journey of migrant workers and their families who refuse to give up from the pressures and dilemmas they go through amid the coronavirus pandemic and inspire us in transforming adversities into opportunities.