Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has opened two centers in Rome, providing help to vulnerable people -- in particular migrants. They are working closely together with the migrant support organization Baobab Experience and social and cultural organization Villetta Social Lab.
Along with its partners, MSF says it aims to use the two centers to offer social and healthcare assistance to migrants as well as to anyone else finding themselves in a vulnerable position in the Italian capital.
The new offices, which are part of the MSF project HOPE Desk (an acronym for "Health, Orientation, Promotion, Education") will provide additional services to the ones already offered in the area. The centers are located in the neighbourhoods of Garbatella and San Lorenzo, respectively, where they offer their services free of charge.
"Rome is one of the main cities where the migrant population lives or passes through, and where many people live in a condition of marginalization," said Yannick Julliot, who is in charge of MSF's HOPE project.
"It is a city that offers many services, but often language and bureaucratic barriers make it especially difficult to access them. HOPE's offices aim to support them", he added.
The services available at the two new centers include helping people get a health insurance card or assist them with attending a doctor's appointment if they have a disability that prevents them from going there alone.
The project, which already has been rolled out in the cities of Palermo, Turin and Udine, also aimed to document potential barriers which prevent migrants, asylum seekers and refugees living or travelling through Rome from accessing medical treatment.
The centers are managed by a group of MSF volunteers in Rome including a number of young students, adult workers and pensioners who want to devote their time, energy and experience to help the project grow.
All volunteers involved in the HOPE Desk have received special training to assist those seeking help, MSF stressed.