On Christmas morning, unaccompanied underage migrants helped provide meals to those in need in Caserta, southern Italy, alongside local volunteers. The project was organized by a local church.
There were at least five migrants among the volunteers who took part in the preparation of meals to distribute in the streets of Caserta on Christmas. They are staying at the Sai Msna reception center in the southern Italian city, managed by the NGO Cidis.
This is part of efforts from local church organizations and Cidis to connect locals and migrants in their community.
The collaboration between immigrant volunteers and local Italian volunteers from the Catholic association Azione Cattolica and the local Caritas branch was started on Easter, in part with the goal of connecting migrants with the local community.
Two meetings between migrants and local Italians
Two meetings were held with the young migrants and local volunteers shortly before Christmas.
The first was held in the Moscati hall of the local Church of the Good Shepherd. During the meeting, the minors spoke to each other and with some families and other residents of the area.
The numerous activities in the city by Cidis to foster social integration of young migrant were shown, as were various foster care options offered by the Fab Together' (family-based care for migrant children) and the Il Posto Giusto projects, in which volunteers work with youths, involving them in sports, cultural events and other activities.
Volunteers made several proposals, including organizing a free work-orientation course for foreign-born minors and offering to help them in after-school activities.
Sharing their hopes and dreams
The second meeting, this time with a delegation of the youth branch of Azione Cattolica, was held at Casa Akim, one of the Cidis communities.
The evening focused on local and migrant youths getting to know each other and enjoying time together. The goal was to help them understand each other's daily lives, and share their dreams, passions, and hopes for the future.
"This is only the beginning of a path for sharing that, we hope, can last a long time and will be fostered by continued cultural exchanges, projects of active citizenship, play activities, and educational activities," the volunteers said.