TORINO – Thanks to the project promoted and implemented by INTERSOS, in collaboration with UNHCR, 35 refugee minors will be able to reach our country safely and go to school, hosted in their families. The first group of five lonely minors arrived at Turin’s Caselle airport – out of a total of 35 young people selected within the project Report card in your pocket, promoted and implemented by the humanitarian organization Intersos with Unhcr, UN Refugee Agency. They are single boys aged between 15 and 17, originally from Darfur, Sudan, and refugees in Niger where Intersos manages the educational activities in the camps in partnership with theUNHCR. Once in Italy, the minors will be hosted by foster families with a community sponsorship mechanism, which also provides for the involvement of volunteer tutors and the Municipality of Turin as well as private social organizations. Families will receive educational, legal and psychological support.
Scholarships. Thanks to a 12-month scholarship, minors will be able to obtain the middle school diploma and subsequently choose whether to continue their path in upper secondary school or in vocational training. “This project is based on two pillars: the right to study and hospitality in the family. For the first time, a study visa is used to allow safe entry into Italy for unaccompanied refugee minors, currently excluded from most other regular entry channels, such as humanitarian corridors “, explains Elena Rozzi, head of the project for Intersos. “We know that this pilot project is just a drop in the bucket, compared to almost 1,300 people who have died in the central Mediterranean since the beginning of 2021, but we hope that in the future it will also allow other minors to enter Italy safely without having to risk your life “.
A new entrance channel. “Report card in your pocket it is a new regular and secure entry channel that is highly innovative compared to the channels currently active as it is aimed at lonely minors ”, declared Chiara Cardoletti, UNHCR Representative for Italy, the Holy See and San Marino. “Children and young people represent about half of the more than 80 million people on the run in the world. The desire to study and improve their lives is among the reasons that pushes them to undertake dangerous journeys to Europe. With this project we offer them the opportunity not only to arrive safely but also to benefit from a welcome in the family, the demonstration of how much Italy is at the forefront in the protection of refugees ”.
All the actors of the project. Together with Intersos and UNHCR, the Municipality of Turin, the CPIA Piedmont network, the Archdiocese of Turin and some local organizations are partners of the project, and a national memorandum of understanding has been signed with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Interior and Labor. The project was carried out with the support of the Italian Episcopal Conference (as part of the Campaign “Free to leave, free to stay” – Funds 8 per thousand Catholic Church), the Migrantes Foundation, of Acri (as part of the “Migrants “) and of Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation.