The Associazione Don Bosco 2000 is an Italian no-profit organization which was constituted in 1998 and promotes the integral formation of human beings with particular attention to young people and those people in vulnerable situations such as migrants. It has a long experience in the field of national and international projects in partnership with other European associations in the implementation of projects that are economically sustainable and have an impact on future generations. The association has a wide range of activities, all based on the attention given to vulnerable subjects (mainly young people either migrants or local people). The association has several years of experience in the management of migrants and the activities for migrants are currently funded by a project of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the delivery of an “integrated service” for migrants. “Integrated service” means that the association provides not only material care (food, clothes, shelter, medical care, legal assistance, basic courses of Italian language) but also a range of services to improve integration of refugees into the community and to increase awareness about the reasons of migration. The association is indeed involved in several campaigns to support activities of awareness raising campaign. It is also been rewarded for the efforts and the results in the activity of integration of migrants in the job market, through the implementation of specific policies that support youth inclusion, especially for migrants. The workplace is particularly effective because it is also the setting where migrants not only learn or improve work knowledge but have also a better understanding of the local culture, habits, human relationships that may be different from the background migrants are used to. The communication strategy of the association is based on DASNEWS, which is an internet news platform for news of the association as well as news of the local territory. And finally, a milestone of the work of the association is the solid network made of local and international associations, institutions, NGOs, and other partners that ensure the spread of the projects and the continuous exchange of best practices among countries.
The association uses specific psychological, social, legal, and cultural interventions to support young people, women and families in vulnerable situations such as violence and discrimination. All these interventions are currently focused on migrants given the emergency situation of war and poverty that after 2011 have led people from Asia and Africa to move to our land. Our association has also a leading role in the creation of a stable dialogue with institutions and associations of volunteers which deal with these vulnerable people. In the buildings of the association, there is an Oratory, which is the place where several activities of education and entertainment take place to help people (especially young people) in vulnerable situations. There is a special area of the building that hosts young women which children in difficult situations (La casa di mamma Margherita), in which there are currently both women from the local community and women arrived with migrants in recent years. The activities are mainly related to the management of migrants and refugees that now live for a temporary period in the structure of the association, waiting for documents. In this intermediate period, migrants are offered legal, medical, and educational support to be prepared to enter the community. The association provides courses of Italian and offers collaboration with local firms to start a route of job-entering process. A multi-disciplinary team works on a daily basis with migrants. Among the other projects, the association is current working as an official location recognized by the Ministry of Interior to hold migrants in their own structure. Such a job is supported by strong links with the institutions of the local community that are involved in the management of migrants and refugees.
The main activities of the association are as follows:
- - The Oratorio Salesiano “Salesian Oratory for youth), which is located in Ostello del Borgo in the heart of the town of Piazza Armerina and implements projects and interventions for young people, giving support for after-school activities and entertainment events, through the voluntary participation of animators, on the grounds of the salesian mission of supporting disadvantaged people.
- - “SPRAR, Sistema di Protezione per i Rifugiati e Richiedenti Asilo” (A programme of protection for refugees and asylum seekers), funded by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Sicilian municipalities of Piazza Armerina, Aidone and Villarorsa. Currently we manage approximately 125 migrants in the two municipalies. SPRAR is based on a multi-disciplinary team, which is composed of several professionals, including a psychologist, a psychotherapist, an intercultural mediator, a linguistic mediator, a social/legal mediator, a Nigerian interpreter, a nurse, and a socio-sanitary professional. Every 15 days, team meetings are held to define the activities of the associations, with official reports and documents that are sent to local institutions and to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to comply with law requirements. Our association has ranked in a good position in the official league of the associations that are funded by the Ministry of Internal Affairs that work with migrants, due to the high quality of our work and the professional skills of the staff. The migrant people that are currently living in our association are from different areas of the world: Pakistan, Somalia, Gambia, Afghanistan, Ivory Coast, Syria, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Lybia and Mali. We host families with children as well as single persons. In agreement with the criteria set by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, these migrants are offered a full-time support for the following services: Welcoming, hosting (house, food, clothes, a pocket money for basic needs), health and social assistance (medical screening at entry and subsequent assistance for any health issues, especially for children such as vaccination and medicine delivery in the nursery of the association and also in the local hospital), support of children in schools, courses of Italian language (three days a week), cultural mediation (the most important part of our work, which focuses on the understanding of migrant needs considering their specific origin, habits, and traditions), legal support (which is the key to start the integration in the local community as citizens with the same rights as Italian people), job contracts (through the collaboration with local firms and association). In particular, specific events are routinely planned to increase the situations of integration between migrants and people from the local community.
- - The centre for migrant unaccompanied minors in Catania (in the east coast of Siciliy), which in collaboration with the municipality of Catania, offers house shelter for young migrants who arrive in Sicily without a family or adult support. As in the SPRAR projects, a multidisciplinary team manages a group of 60 young migrants, supporting not only basic needs (legal and sanitary issues) but also additional activity of education and integration.
- - The GIO’ SOCIAL HOUSE, a cine-theatre that is a multimedia centre and is used not only to show movies and events but also to promote socio-cultural activities using innovative digital equipment. Since July 2015, the GIO’ cinema has hosted presentation of books, jam sessions, movie sessions exclusive for students, conferences on social issues. The objective of the GIO’ project is to develop a “social cinema” as a place where to share culture and art events.