One of the key elements of the EPIC project – European Practices for Integration and Care, is the exchange of good practices related to the reception of unaccompanied minors. Click here to see the photo album!
Sweden – Reach for Change
On the 14th and 15th of September 2021, the first of 7 field visits took place to exchange good practices on the topic of family foster care and alternative forms of reception for unaccompanied foreign minors and young people.
In Malmö, Sweden, Reach for Change organised several meetings with the municipality, associations in the field and integration professionals. Sandra Lundberg, Maher Akob and Per-Erik Ebbeståhl from the Malmö Municipality gave a comprehensive and inspiring overview of migration and integration in a municipality with more than 180 different nationalities. Kotada Yonus, founder of the Aktarr App, told the group about the 2015 migration emergency and Jeanette Berga presented BID Malmö, an urban community and development method to increase social cohesion and integration. Finally, social entrepreneurs supported by Reach for Change shared with the group about their experience working with migrants in Sweden.
Milan – Caritas Ambrosiana and Farsi Prossimo Onlus
In Milan, the partners of the EPIC project had the opportunity to listen to the experience of a foster family and about the project “Accoglienza in famiglia di adolescenti migranti soli”, which shows the fruitful collaboration to promote and support foster experiences.
The group also visited the Centre in via Zendrini, where they were told about the joys and difficulties of welcoming unaccompanied migrant children. To conclude, a dinner prepared by the young guests of the community Il Seme, who told the EPIC partners about their journey to Italy.
Macerata – Municipality of Macerata
The first part of the field visit was dedicated to the Reception Community for unaccompanied foreign minors managed by the Piombini Sensini association and to the precious resources available in the territory. These included foster families, who shared their touching experience welcoming foreign minors into their homes.
The second part of the visit recounted the journey of unaccompanied foreign minors in Macerata, from identification by the Municipal Police to the interview with the social services through cultural mediators. The EPIC partners were also introduced to the Municipality of Macerata who takes care of the reception and social-work integration of the children.
Prague – OPU
Another city, another good practice promoted by the EPIC project – European Practice for Integration and Care.
OPU presented its work to integrate unaccompanied foreign minors with lawyers, social workers and educators. Farid Ahmad Yar, who has been a reference point for the Afghan community in the Czech Republic for many years, told us about his experience as an immigrant, now well integrated in society.
The EPIC partners then visited the reception centre for foreign minors, where the director, Zuzana Chmeliřová Vučková, and the representative of the Office for the Protection of Minors, Václav Malich, explained how the reception system works, offering minors citizenship after five years in the country, and economic support up to the age of 24 for young people who want to study.
The last stop was the Half Way House, a self-sufficiency flat managed by Opu, where children are supported on their path to self-sufficiency and to find housing, which is not always an easy task.
Naples – Cidis Onlus
Cidis Onlus welcomed the partners to their office in Caserta, for a multi-voice account of their good practice in welcoming and helping young migrants.
In groups, they then visited the autonomy communities and flats managed by the CIDIS staff, where the youths learned how to live and integrate in the Italian territory.Back in Naples, the group visited the wonderful Casa CIDIS, a social enterprise, where young people can experience training and job placement.
Palermo – Municipality of Palermo
After a walk in the beautiful historical centre of Palermo, the EPIC partners visited the Casa dei Diritti of the Municipality of Palermo, where they listened to the process of welcoming unaccompanied foreign minors in Palermo.
The dinner was a convivial moment but also a stimulating one because it was held at Moltivolti, a social enterprise that integrates and promotes job placement for young people (in addition to offering an excellent dinner!).
The next morning, the group visited a host community for minors run by the Palermo-based association Stellaria. The visit ended with the testimony of Amara, who recently turned 18 and is looking for her own path into the world supported by her foster mother.
Madrid – Accem
From Madrid, where ACCEM’s headquarters are located, the EPIC project partners travelled by train to Guadalajara to hear about the reception system for unaccompanied foreign minors in this region.
The group then visited a shelter for minors in a situation of neglect, including unaccompanied foreign minors, for children and young people of all age groups and problems.
At “Casa Nazareth”, Djibril, Aboubacar and Agata shared their experience and the support they received until they turned 18 for training and job placement. Now some of them are working, Agata manages to take care of her young daughter who has been admitted to kindergarten and another young man is studying to be a car mechanic.