The Mosaico association in Turin is engaged in an initiative at the city's main train station in which volunteers including refugees offer migrants transiting through the station assistance, information and basic goods to help them in their journey.
The Porta Nuova train station in the Italian city Turin is an important transit point for migrants - both for those seeking to reach northern Europe as well as for the migrants pushed back at the border due to the Dublin rule.
The local Mosaico association with its 'Oasi Porta Nuova' initiative provides refugees and asylum seekers at the station assistance at various levels. It aims to help them to continue their migration process in an informed manner.
Mosaico stressed that many lives can be saved by reaching a high number of people at the Porta Nuova transit point by listening to specific cases, offering a brief truce and proposing personalized solutions.
Three parts of the project
The Oasi Porta Nuova aims to be a ''long-term initiative''. For the time being, the project began in November and is expected to last three months, the organization said during a presentation.
The initiative has three parts: A pavilion located inside the Porta Nuova station, where a selected group of refugees trained as linguistic-cultural mediators will provide information on rights and duties and a map of service points, places to be heard and initial assessments of individual situations.
The Ambulatorio Socio Sanitario Roberto Gamba clinic has also been set up near the station, where professionals will provide both legal consultancy (two weekly sessions of 2-3 hours each) and medical and psychological assistance in collaboration with local institutions.
The initiative also calls for a mobile unit (van or camper) to go to areas with high concentrations of people affected by forced migration, a part which will be implemented after the three-month Oasi Porta Nuova pilot project.
Secondary benefits of the project
Mosaico said that, in addition to providing support to save or improve the quality of individual lives, Oasi Porta Nuova will produce several secondary benefits.
It aims to do so by collecting anonymous data on migration and reception in Italy and can thereby provide statistics on migration trends; by reducing the number of people living on the streets and in so doing mitigate reasons for concerns for local inhabitants. Further, it aims to actively involve refugees (mediators, doctors, and other professionals) in the proposing and activating of solutions for the city, thereby improving integration. Lastly, Oasi aims to connect local organizations providing similar services, thereby increasing the coordination and effectiveness of the actions.