Italy - "M'interesso di te", project: already over 100 Unaccompanied Foreign Minors approached and assisted

17 May 2018

(ANS - Rome) - Mujtaba, Bobacar, Famana, Abdoulaye ... These are some of the names of foreign children with stories of violence, some even of prison and torture, of poverty and great suffering. They are young people who, having escaped from a context wherein they saw no chance of a future, found themselves alone and abandoned in a foreign country. For young people like them, the Salesians of Italy have activated the project "M'interesso di te", which in three months has already approached and assisted over 100 minors.

The project - "I am interested in you, but also I shall take care of you" - is being carried out by "Salesians per il Sociale - SCS / CNOS Federation" thanks to the charitable fund and support of "Intesa San Paolo", an Italian banking institute. The project takes place in Turin, Naples and Catania, in neighborhoods adjacent to the train stations.

The activities of the project are carried out by a network of street educators, psychologists and volunteers who immediately guarantee support and protection to each child intercepted. In a second phase, this network offers young people the opportunity to attend Italian language courses, receive legal assistance regarding recognition and legal status, acquire professional/vocational skills, and to enter the world of work.

In the first quarter of the year, 53 educational activities were carried out by the educational team, including mapping the territory, getting to know the meeting/gathering places of minors, fostering their first connections and relationships with the locality they find themselves in. Thanks to these actions, 106 Unaccompanied Foreign Minors (UFM) were contacted, mostly children outside the assistance/support networks; in addition, 26 public and private organizations were contacted, including social services, police forces, and a number of associations and cooperatives that work for the protection of children.

The services provided during this period concerned:

- social mediation (61 boys),
- low threshold reception (ie for people in extreme difficulty) with socio-educational       surveys (19 people),
- first literacy programs for learning the Italian language (19 people),
- street-based educational activities (127 people),
- support for professional/vocational qualification and job placement (6 people)
- relational support and legal tutoring (4 people).

Currently, "Salesians for Social - SCS / CNOS Federation" counts on five offices active in first reception of the UFM, thanks to which it is able to accompany and support about 160 minors; to these must be added another 18 structures active in the second reception phase.

Further information is available on the "Salesiani per il Sociale" website


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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