A new project by the Italian Council for Refugees (CIR) and the organization Refugees Welcome aims to develop alternative models for refugee integration by involving citizens through experiences of family reception.
The project "Welcome Home" is kicking off. Funded by the personal income tax devolution known as "8x1,000" for the year 2016 by the Italian government, the project's goal is to develop innovative alternatives for refugee integration. It aims to actively involve citizens and the private social service sector through experiences of "family reception."
Project's three main activities
The initiative, created by the Italian Refugee Council (CIR) and the international network Refugees Welcome, is promoting three main activities. The first is called "Young Together" and involves 40 young refugees and 40 young Italians. The second is "Refugees 4 Refugees" involves 20 refugees and aims at hosting single refugees or groups of refugees with previously arrived refugee or migrant families who are further along in terms of integration. The third is "Welcome in the Family", which involves 10 refugees in a project of direct hosting of single refugees or small groups of refugees by Italian families.
The project will take place primarily in Rome, Lecce, and Verona and is based on two main factors.
The first is the direct involvement of active citizens, and the second involves concrete tools, such as training and internships, that CIR and Refugees Welcome will make available.
'Family stays are an essential tool'
CIR Director Mario Morcone said promoting alternative opportunities through all the channels of civil society is of "fundamental importance" at a time in which "responses to the needs of refugee reception and integration are increasingly rare." "From this point of view, family stays can become an essential integration tool because they allow for sharing not only a living space, but above all a support network that can promote all-around entry for the people received in our community.
This initiative allows the many Italians who wish to become active to do so personally through a qualified project that, in addition to making reception available, also makes available tools for training and integration that reinforce the inclusion process," Morcone said.