Migrants at a reception center near Florence, Italy | Credit: ANSA
Migrants at a reception center near Florence, Italy | Credit: ANSA

Eleven European Catholic Caritas charities will join forces for a project funded by the European Union, to raise the public's awareness on migration issues.

A new project called Mind (Migration Interconnectedness Development) has been launched across Europe. Its aim is to raise the public's awareness on the plight of migrants. 

The initiative is promoted by European Catholic Caritas charities, including in Italy, on the theme of migration and development, "a complex and strategic" association, the organizers said in a statement. 

The connection between migration and development 

The project is funded by the European Union and is "aimed at raising the awareness of civil society and national and European institutions on the complex connection between migration and development."

Italy's Caritas, together with Caritas groups in Austria (at the helm of the project), Belgium, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Sweden, Germany/Bavaria and Caritas Europe, will work for three years on key issues, including the underlying causes of migrations, problems faced by hosting societies and integration processes.

"Private actors, companies, schools, migrant volunteer groups, journalists and politicians, will have the opportunity, through Mind, of becoming more aware of themes that are relevant to current events," Caritas said in a statement. 

Boosting European Caritas groups 

Through Mind, the European Union offers to European Caritas the opportunity of strengthening its work, already widely implemented across the continent, to benefit integration processes and to further promote the widespread network present both in the countries of origin of migrants and on European territory. 

"This will provide an opportunity to gain a new perspective. It will show people that human mobility involves co-responsibility," said Francesco Soddu, the director of the Italian chapter of Caritas. "Each one of us can contribute to reaching sustainable development targets, also through the construction of a human and supportive society that works for the common good, as highlighted by Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Sì that tells us which road to take."

The three-year project will be implemented at a European, national and local level. In Italy, it will involve, in particular, five Caritas organizations in Benevento, Biella, Bolzano, Milan and Verona, together with other partners already working on specific projects in this sector. 

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