The project “Integration for the future – “Strada Facendo” walking towards life autonomy for foreign minors and young adults who have arrived in Italy alone” is in continuity with the national project “Strada facendo” (promoted within the first edition of the “Never Alone” call for proposals), and develops from the need to find new replies to some crucial aspects linked to the reception system for unaccompanied children, such as labour autonomy, free access to quality and diversified professional trainings, socio-cultural inclusion, the protection of housing rights.
For this reason, the core of the project revolves around the word future: the short/medium term one for the construction of individual integration paths for foreign young adults leaving their host communities; the medium/long term one regarded as the common time horizon to aim at, also through the promotion of resilient and inclusive communities, in which each individual is able to play his/her part, in a logic of shared responsibility.
Thanks to an inclusive, integrated and shared approach, in strong contrast with the top-down decision-making approach that often affects the children receive in numerous situations, the participation model proposed by the project places the choices and attitudes of the beneficiary at the centre of the construction of his/her individual path and represents a concrete support for the child or young adult.
At a first stage, the project provides for the selection of beneficiaries through a call for proposals open to all unaccompanied children who are hosted in the care facilities of Syracuse, Catania, Messina, Florence and Milan, then, taking into consideration his/her own skills assessment, an individual project for each beneficiary will be set up.
In continuity with the activities implemented and the results achieved by the “Strada Facendo” project, all the beneficiaries selected in the 5 territories will attend a training course on both rights and duties in the Italian workplace and soft skills’ development.
Within the individual projects conceived for each beneficiary, specialized language training courses preparatory to job training will be run.
Since the acquisition of the professional and technical skills necessary for the kids to enter the labour market is recognized as a top-priority activity within the process towards autonomy, the project includes training modules specifically designed and targeted to according to each geographical area of intervention, on the basis of the needs/characteristics of the local market, with respect to and in accordance with the active employment policies adopted at regional level for this target of beneficiaries.
In parallel with the training program, the project promotes extra-curricular apprenticeships, which will enable the beneficiaries to approach the Italian labour market and, at the same time, add more meaningful experiences to their skills portfolios and CV.
Furthermore, the project includes the testing of modular housing support paths to support the “leaving” of young adults from the care facilities, thanks to the intervention of the various stakeholders involved (beneficiaries, housemates, owners and real estate agencies). Aware that the problems related to housing access by young adults leaving the care facilities are also linked to the prejudice and concern coming from the cultural differences that impact on the housemates cohabitation, the project is focused on awareness-raising as a key factor to overcome these problems. Awareness meaning both the beneficiaries’ deep learning of the rules of living in cohabitation as well as in apartment buildings, and a direct and personal knowledge of all the stakeholders involved.
Finally, in addition to both the workshops on the theme of affectivity and emotion management, and the cultural discovery of the host territory, the project includes some experimental activities related to the presence of the “social guardian” for young adults; this presence belongs to the civil society engagement plan in favour of minors, as outlined by the Law 47/2017. As a matter of facts, this further social protection can be considered not only as the structured continuation of the voluntary legal guardianship but also a more suitable form of support by all those citizens who do not apply for becoming voluntary legal guardians due to working or family reasons, and geographical location.