Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

Since the end of last February, like everyone else in Italy, the guests of the residential structures of Farsi Prossimo Onlus have been living in isolation without the chance to go out. Beyond the obvious discomforts that it has created, this emergency has made it possible for both the operators and the guests who benefit from the services to adapt and act on their own initiative, and has revealed unexpected opportunities on several fronts.

In an emergency that, even before the suspension of travel and work activities on site, imposed the closure of all schools and the interruption of teaching activities in Italy, Farsi Prossimo Onlus has placed at the centre of its priorities, in addition to guaranteeing the continuity of the provision of basic services, educational and health care assistance, schooling, training and linguistic tutoring of its users.

Why? Would the consequences of a suspension of studies have such a negative impact on the learning path of students in the different communities?

Paola Piras, trainer employed by Farsi Prossimo Onlus, says that the answer has to be found at a relational level. It comes from this intuition ‘From distance learning to close learning’, a training course addressed to the team of Italian as a second language teachers, which focuses on relational needs. From one meeting to another, starting from a reflection on strategies to reduce distances in distance learning and on the ways to relate through the new tools available, they explore platforms and software to interact remotely and their potential, the forms of teaching through synchronous and asynchronous classes.

With the growth of online learning offers, several technical needs have gradually emerged in the various communities. The Intercultural Day Care Centre has been at the forefront with its partners to ensure that the necessary equipment could be available to offer the online courses that have primarily served the communities for unaccompanied migrant children, mother-child communities and women’s communities.

The educators, privileged observers of the recipients of this new mode of learning, stress its critical aspects and advantages. Despite the logistical difficulties (management of spaces; stability of connections; lack of direct interaction with the teacher), all emphasize the student’s empowerment that this modality entails and the strengthening of digital literacy even for younger users, so confident in the use of social media, but often uncomfortable even in elementary digital operations, such as sending an email. Both of them will be precious resources for their greater and personal involvement in future choices.

Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash

UASC, unaccompanied or separated children are boys and girls who have arrived in Europe without parents or adults legally responsible for them.
The large migration flows in recent years have recorded a constant influx of minors, mainly teenage boys, between 14 and 17 years of age, in European countries.

In 2019 about 33,000 children reached the European borders, among them more than 5,000 were UASC.*
Between January and June 2019, 8,236 minors arrived in Greece, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria, including 2,794 (34%) Unaccompanied or Separated Foreign Minors.**

Unfortunately, there is quite often the risk that this children are not treated as such, but simply as migrants, without the adequate services and attention which could and should ensure their best interest and well being.
In the different European countries, many alternative forms of care have been experimented in these years, but there are still more opportunities for further enhancements that can be dicovered and promoted thanks to an exchange of information and the fostering of mutual knowledge among the key actors in different countries.

The EPIC project sets this as its main objective:

to create new opportunities for exchange and training to enrich not only the skills of individual operators, but the whole alternative care systems in the countries where the project takes place.

Moreover the project seeks to promote in particular foster care for UASC, which has proven to be an effective instrument to protect Unaccompanied migrant children and give them more opportunities for integration in the communities where they settle.

In this website it will be possible to deepen the theme of alternative care for UASC and discover the activities and good practices carried out by the partners of this project, located in different European countries: Italy, Spain, Czech Republic and Sweden (discover all the partners).
To stay up to date on the project, and on the initiatives that will be addressed both to professionals in the reception sector, but also to families and individuals supporting UASC, as well as all those who are interested, you can subscribe to the newsletter here.


*Data from European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

** Data from International Organization for Migration

Photo by Iqbal Hussain Topu on Unsplash

The National Child and Adolescents Guarantor Authority, Save The Children and the Italian Association of Judges for Minors and Families approved the Ethical Charter for Voluntary Guardians of Unaccompanied Migrant Children this spring.
In Italy, three years after the approval of the law of April 7, 2017, n. 47 on measures for the protection of unaccompanied migrant children, there are 3,029 voluntary guardians.

Voluntary guardians are people who willingly decide to exercise the legal representation of a unaccompanied migrant children arrived in Italy without any adult reference figure.

Therefore, they become reference figures who, in addition to carrying out important functions from the legal point of view, can really promote the possibilities of integration of children, supervising the application of their rights, making sure that their abilities, natural inclinations and aspirations are taken into account in the choice of the training path and in general promoting their psycho-physical well-being.

The charter is therefore a decisive step forward that can provide guidance for voluntary guardians to make decisions in the best interests of the child in situations of uncertainty. At the same time, the knowledge of the Charter by UASC will make them aware of the tasks of the guardians so that they can be put in a position to enjoy their rights.

To discover more on the Charter and on the Italian System for voluntary legal guardianship of UASC, please consult the website of the Italian Child and adolescent guarantor authority.
Here you can find the Charter, available in Italian.



Children in Migration
In 2019, over 140,000 migrants were apprehended after crossing the EU’s external land or sea borders in an unauthorised manner. Among them, about 33,000 claimed to be children, including over 5,000 who were unaccompanied.
Children in Migration 2019The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights has recently published the annual report 2019 on Children in Migration.
Since September 2015 FRA has collected data on this specific issue and this year’s report covers the main concerns identified in FRA’s Quarterly Bulletins on migration in selected EU Member States (precisely Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, North Macedonia, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands).
The report contains relevant data as the numbers of children arrived in Europe and key findings on the main challenges concerning the fundamental rights of children in migration throughout the entire process from the entering in the EU to the risk of detention and return.
A paragraph is dedicated to guardianship systems for unaccompanied migrant children reaffirming once again that despite significant progress, important gaps remain to be filled.
In the document only four cases are mentioned as example (Croatia, Greece, Hungary and Malta) but the Guardianship system is widespread within many other European Countries and all of them share the need for improvement in order to guarantee a better care and better chances for Unaccompanied migrant children.
The report can be read and downloaded on the FRA’s website
logo fadv The project is coordinated by Fondazione l'Albero della Vita