Inclusion and Integration
Caritas Italiana, through their network, offers the opportunity for families and individuals to open up their homes and share their lives with migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum for six to nine months. The aim of the project, with the title “ProTetto” is to create an environment of inclusion and to facilitate integration into the Italian society. With support of the PIER program seven areas will be involved in the program. 350 cases, individuals and families (parents and their children), – who have been in Italy for less than two years – will benefit from the program.
For those people, children and adults, who are reaching the Italian shore after a dangerous sea journey, who maybe have just been rescued, Caritas Italiana provides Warm-Up kits. These kits consist of emergency blankets, warm clothes and shoes. Within the framework of the Caritas PIER program 6.500 newly arrived refugees can be supplied with these “Warm-Up” Kits.
Legal Support and Psychosocial Counselling
Many refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Italy moved from the coastal areas, where they arrived, to the north. They were hoping for the possibility to continue their way through Europe or to find permanent accommodation, jobs and the permission to stay. They live in cities and small villages under bad housing conditions. Parishes and Caritas organizations provide in-kind support. Through the “ProTetto” program selected beneficiaries can be referred to families who are willing to provide a private apartment or a room in their house for a period of six to nine months. The host-families are selected carefully and have to fulfill certain criteria regarding the quality of the house/structure, a stable environment of the family, the will to support the integration of the beneficiary, etc. Refugees and migrants are accompanied not only by their host-family but also by social workers from the local Caritas organization or the parish. If it is necessary, they can access special consultation services, such as legal services, psycho-logical treatment, etc., whereby the costs for these services are covered by the “ProTetto” program.
Language Classes and Job Training
“ProTetto” supports the integration of refugees. Most of them lack Italian language knowledge and have difficulties to find jobs. To improve language skills refugees, asylum seekers and migrants can apply for financial support to finance costs for formal language courses. These courses are offered by public or private training institutes. Supporting the participants of “ProTetto” in finding jobs is another main concern of the project.
Therefore the project coordinator helps the participants to look for jobs. Many small businesses are interested in training refugees, asylum seekers and migrants on the job, in order to teach them vocational skills. But said small businesses are not able to pay salaries for the trainees. “ProTetto” takes over the salary costs (monthly grants; 500 Euro per beneficiary).
In Italy host families are subsidized for providing shared free activities for the individuals or families they care for. Among others, the following activities are offered: sport activities; city sight-seeing; visits to museums, libraries, cinemas; themed work-shops, such as recycling and waste management; arts and handicrafts; technical workshops; competitions like “Reading Games”; etc.
Support by Volunteers
“ProTetto” is based on the dedication of volunteers. Housing opportunities are provided for free and the host-families provide a broad range of integration facilitating activities on a voluntary basis.