Thousands of immigrants demonstrating in Naples for basic income and rights for all | Photo: ANSA/CIRO FUSCO
Thousands of immigrants demonstrating in Naples for basic income and rights for all | Photo: ANSA/CIRO FUSCO

The Action Aid organization said Wednesday it had launched a project to offer help with paying for basic goods for 200 migrants in the city that had been excluded from assistance during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

On Wednesday, the NGO Action Aid said that it had found 200 people in Naples that had been unable to access assistance for migrants or assistance provided by the town council and that it helped them pay for their shopping. 

This also ''conveyed to them (the migrants) an important sense of inclusion'', Daniela Capalbo, head of the Naples branch of Action Aid said. 

The NGO is currently implementing a project (called "Seeds") in the city to build a network with associations working with migrants at the most severe risk of exclusion. 

Beneficiaries 

''We are speaking about the Russian-speaking community as well as Gambians, Senegalese, Nigerian, women working in homes, men who are tasked with small jobs in small family-run businesses: These are all people who are not working now and that we have involved as beneficiaries and protagonists in a phase in which we are reinterpreting needs while taking into account very difficult situations,'' Capalbo said. 

''There are also undocumented disabled migrants and single-parent families,'' Capalbo added. 

For spending on food, an alliance was brought in with Slow Food, which has long been in contact with the diaspora community in Naples. 

Food is bought at Campania region food producers, thereby "supporting also agricultural firms that have been negatively affected by the pandemic due to the closing of neighbourhood markets.'' 

Network to help the 'invisibles' 

The project goes beyond simply making sure vulnerable migrants have something to put on their tables. Capalbo said that ''we are also trying to create a network with people that are considered invisible and that do not have much of a voice in public debate. This network helps everyone -- even the volunteers -- to create a collective voice to draw up political demands and to be protagonists in the future.'' 

''In addition to the aid,'' she said, ''the project is also building a network of trust. In Naples there were many demonstrations for solidarity, but in the future there also needs to be social and political'' involvement. 

The partners of the Seeds project in Naples are Hamef, an intercultural association in Naples for foreigners' rights, the Senegalese Association of Naples, the Bellarus and Vivlaviv associations and the Italian Gambian Association.
 

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