African refugees working at the Caserta Royal Palace as gardeners in the immense park as part of the ‘Accolti Attivi’ (Active welcome) project | Photo: Francesco Tedesco / ANSA
African refugees working at the Caserta Royal Palace as gardeners in the immense park as part of the ‘Accolti Attivi’ (Active welcome) project | Photo: Francesco Tedesco / ANSA

Asylum seekers and refugees have been given awards for their work done in the Royal Gardens of Caserta as part of the 'Accolti Attivi' program, during which they learnt the gardening trade and played a part in the daily upkeep of the park around the Italian royal palace.

Some 23 asylum seekers and refugees have received an award for their work as part of the 'Accolti Attivi' (Active Welcome) program at the Royal Palace of Caserta in southern Italy.

Those receiving the award were between the ages of 21 and 47 and from Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, and Togo. All had done training internships in the royal gardens, learning the trade and playing a part in the daily upkeep of the green spaces.

2020 Civic Recognition Medal

The recognition came during a ceremony held on October 8 in the Royal Palace in Caserta. The migrants were given the 2020 Civic Recognition Award by the head of the GreenCare Award Association, Benedetta de Falco.

The medals were also bestowed on the amateur sports association Reggia Running, whose members adopted an area of the pine forest in the royal gardens and cleaned and carried out maintenance works in it.

'A model to be replicated'

The director of the Caserta Royal Palace, Tiziana Maffei, noted that associations working together in the area had created "two projects very close to my heart. Our royal gardens deserve a great deal of attention and these forms of collaboration are virtuous examples of shared responsibility and participation in caring. Concrete applications of the principles of sustainability in the 2030 Agenda. I would like to thank all those who, every day, work to help us in the very difficult task of protecting the heritage of the Green Museum. I would like to thank the GreenCare Award for having understood the value of these initiatives and for having rewarded them with this official recognition."

De Falco added that "transferring skills, teaching the basics of a trade, and putting together two spheres of great 'fragility' - that of refugees today and the care of green spaces - provides the foundations of a model to replicate later elsewhere."

 

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