Geographically located between African and European mainland, Malta is a symbol for any European member state dealing with a steady flux of migrants arriving at its shores. The island state struggles to administer and integrate the people who are fleeing from war, persecution and poverty. The call for a strong European Union, which helps member-states in times of need, is yet unheard. The island state is left alone to deal with the newcomers, who are seen as a burden to the nation.
Stepping forward portrays a nation in a state of limbo – offering refuge and temporary protection to those fleeing from war-ridden home-states and yet refusing to work on a long term solution, that could include encouraging the integration process for those who cannot return.
While Malta opposes the integration process of its newcomers, many have already started to build their lives and fight for their rights. Within this framework, we find young individuals who choose different ways of dealing with their situation in Malta: Ali, a young man from Somalia, well-integrated in Maltese society who is trying to reunite with his wife living in Sweden. His only option for a better future seems to be the UNHCR Resettlement Program .
Konate from Mali, a rejected asylum seeker, who stands up to fight for his rights and is trying to establish the first NGO with only African members.
And Naima, a young Somali woman, who has seen the pure ugliness of Civil War reality. She determined her life to finding a better future for her daughter and mother, who are left behind in Mogadishu.
The story of the nation Malta takes us to the center of Europe, to the challenge of a young Union, that is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis: how many people can we witness dying at the borders of our continent? Which people will be let in and which will be refused? How is Europe going to stand together in this moment of social transformation?
The documentary pursues to show different perspectives and strategies on how to deal with the situation of migration within the EU.