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After the results of RAISE I – the second edition of the “Resposta Alternativa de Integração Social e Empreendedorismo” project [Alternative Response to Social Integration and Entrepreneurship] is now launched.
Globalization, economic and financial crises have affected the whole world and Europe, in recent decades. In Portugal this has produced a strong recession between 2002 and 2013. After 2011 and 2013, two years that measured the greatest recession of all time, the economic situation has begun to recover, although it still has not reached the levels of employment, stability and income present before the crisis.
The Municipality of Alenquer, project area of intervention, is no exception. The various institutional partners that make up the Conselho Local de Ação Social de Alenquer (CLASA)[local council of social action of Alenquer], including AMU-Portugal, have identified unemployment and precarious employment as the main problem resulting in situations of poverty and social vulnerability in the territory.

RAISE II contributes in improving the living conditions, reducing vulnerability and poverty, increasing the development and “capability” of the resident population.

In order to reduce the social impact of unemployment and precarious work in the short, medium and long term, RAISE II will develop a series of activities aimed at increasing social integration, the insertion or reintegration into the labour market of the unemployed or those with precarious work in the Municipality of Alenquer. Furthermore, the project will promote entrepreneurship among the population to promote employment.

PLANNED ACTIVITIES
• Presentation and dissemination of the project to institutions, unemployed or precarious workers, entrepreneurs in the area and the local community in general.

• Technical assistance, accompaniment and monitoring of the protagonists to facilitate their insertion or reintegration into the employment market.

• Dissemination and awareness of entrepreneurial methods and the principles of the Economy of Communion.

• Training on entrepreneurship and the Economy of Communion, to beneficiaries, groups of students of the schools of the Municipality of Alenquer and to local entrepreneurs.

The RAISE II – 2018 project is covered by the contributions of AMU – Action for a United World Association and EoC – Economy of Communion

 

“Bulding bridges” is an inclusion program for vulnerable people. It is the continuation of the pilot project “Fare Sistema Oltre l’Accoglienza” and will implement various training activities, work and social integration.

Unemployment in Italy is around 12%, while youth unemployment is 35.1%. Among the young people looking for work there are also more than 15 thousand Unaccompanied Foreign Minors.

The majority of young foreigners, but also adults, failing to bear the weight of basic Italian literacy, necessary to access vocational training, results in the abandonment of their studies. They then risk falling into a spiral of marginalization or becoming victims of illegal labour exploitation.

So young people have difficulties accessing the legal labour market and many of them not having a contract, cannot obtain a residence permit.

Therefore in Italy, without a concrete solution to support integration procedures, social and work integration are at a high risk of failure.

Hardships and difficulties in social and work inclusion are also felt among the younger and more vulnerable Italians, not just those linked to migratory dynamics.

Bulding bridges’s purpose is the insertion of young people and adults, minors and adults, foreigners and Italians in socio-working contexts.

The Program achieves its objectives through the creation of a national network, made up of families, companies, associations and institutions. But above all it is made up of people, of social actors, who can interact, cooperate and facilitate the insertion of the weakest in our society.

 

 

RAISE means “to lift”, but it is also the acronym for Alternative Response of Social Integration and Entrepreneurship.

The overall objective of the project is to help limit the problem of unemployment in the municipality of Alenquer, 50 km north of Lisbon, headquarters of AMU Portugal. Following the economic crisis, about 12% of the Portuguese population is unemployed; youth unemployment however hovers around 28% and it also affects people with higher education: the most obvious consequence is the emigration of the most skilled and qualified young people, which compromises the future of the whole country.

The specific objective is to train and accompany people to the inclusion in the labour market by third parties or also through the creation of business initiatives if the personal circumstances and the social context permit it.

The project proposes an innovative methodology with customized approaches to create attitudes and entrepreneurial skills. It also promotes initiatives that help increase the job offer in the municipality of Alenquer, in the short, medium and long term. A particular aspect of the training covers the principles, values and methodology of the Economy of Communion.

The main activities of the project consist in the training on methods and strategies on finding a job, job training, technical and entrepreneurial training and also psycho-social support (personal and professional). In this path some are helped to find work, others to create their own company.

Main results achieved:

– 50 unemployed persons were accompanied with integration, training and internships processes;
– 19 people have found work;
– A training program for entrepreneurship was held with the involvement of young people;
– The collaboration with some local companies has begun, to mediate between research and offer trying to help to find the right job for each person;
– Constitution of a company;
– Development of a local partnership network;
– Construction of one “Boot camp” on entrepreneurship of Communion;
– Establishment of a “local meeting point” for the international network for the incubation of EoC businesses (EoCiin).

The first phase of the project, started in April 2015, was completed in 2016. The second phase is currently being planned.

 


The series of strong earthquakes that occurred in Italy in the regions of Lazio, Umbria, Marche and Abruzzo from 24th August 2016 have caused, in addition to the collapse of houses and the loss of many lives, even the collapse of small productive activities, small trade businesses and the tourism present on the territory.

Several companies have lost the premises to carry out their activities or the necessary machinery or raw materials; many goods have been stored in warehouses without being able to get to their final destination. In different situations, the workers of the damaged businesses have been unable to return to work either because they were forced, together with their families, to displace in safer areas, or because the companies themselves were.

RImPRESA project aims to:
– Support the economic recovery of the businesses affected by the earthquake;
– Ensure the sale of local products, especially those stored before the earthquake and then those of more recent production;
– Promote the recovery of restaurants and tourist accommodations;
– Promote the relationship between the businesses, and cooperation and synergy for better productivity;
– Build stable relational networks between AIPEC member companies and the damaged businesses, shops and accommodation facilities;
– Contribute to the spread of a local Supportive and Sustainable Economy, which goes beyond the emergency period.

In coordination with the Civil Protection that has the full picture of the affected companies and knows which aid has already been distributed, we will work in the territories along Via Salaria, in the area between Amatrice and Ascoli Piceno, in the Val Nerina, and in Northwest Abruzzo: these are rural areas whose economy is mainly based on agriculture and livestock farming of sheep and cattle, and whose main clientele was made up of the local population and tourists. It is important now to create a potential customer base outside the areas affected by the earthquake, so that businesses are not forced to close.

The project consists of two complementary actions:

RImPRESA PROJECT – ENTERPRISES, to provide companies with raw materials, machinery and small-scale infrastructure;
RImPRESA PROJECT – SPG, to promote the purchase of products from the affected companies and to recover local tourism. For this purpose 4 Solidarity Purchase Groups (SPG) will be undertaken.

RImPRESA is sponsored by:

– AMU – Action for a United World Onlus (leader)
– AFN – Action for New Families Onlus
– Abbraccio Planetario aps
– AIPEC – Italian Businessmen Association for an Economy of Communion
– B & F Foundation aps
– Focolare Movement
– Vincenzo Casillo Foundation

 

Migrants very often belong to different categories of people, because the motivations for leaving their country of origin are various (wars, human rights violations, poverty). The project “Let’s House Together” is directed to a particular category of migrants, refugees or applicants for international protection: people who are running away from places where there is a war or in which they are subject to personal persecution.

The migrants arriving in Italy are in terrible conditions, either caused by the situation in their country or because of the trip they had to face. But the reception models proposed by public institutions show several limitations, lacking to meet the real needs of the people as well as in promoting forms of effective and durable integration.

“Let’s House Together” it is a pilot project that offers a specific and personalized course of accompaniment, in order to lead the beneficiaries to achieve economic and relational autonomy. The project aims indeed to establish a widespread and sustainable hospitality, made in a community framework, in which the local community itself takes care of refugees or applicants for international protection. This will have a beneficial and positive impact on all parties involved, which should lead to a real and tangible integration of the people received within the host territory.

The beneficiaries will be families of refugees and/or asylum seekers, identified on the basis of the following criteria:
• Refugees who have a valid permit to stay in the national territory;
• Families with particular attention to single-parent families with single mothers;
• Beneficiaries that are strongly motivated to enter this accompaniment path and interest to settle in Italy.

Main Activities
Initially the Association Una città non basta NGO (One city is not enough association) identifies a host community and a housing solution suitable for the needs of each of the three beneficiary families.
The Association shall provide for the payment of rent, household expenses and general expenses from the start of the reception up to when the families will reach economic autonomy. In the second year of the project expenses will be gradually reduced.
For each family there will be a tutor, as a constant referent, and a group of people in the community will act as support for the start of the integration path of the family.
Other activities will be targeted to accompany families so as to make them autonomous from an economic point of view and from a relational perspective. Professionals will be identified within the host community who will voluntarily provide their support in helping beneficiaries to lay the foundation of integration through knowledge of the language and the handling of administrative and bureaucratic practices. Families will also be accompanied in the search for a job. If necessary, the project will also offer the possibility of a psychological support to cope with any trauma suffered by refugees both in their home countries and during the journey. This service is provided by AFN non-profit organization, the project partners.

The host communities, as well as offering support for the material needs, will take care of providing opportunities for interaction and exchange, including special events dedicated to intercultural issues, to help beneficiaries learn about the new place and people, but at the same time help the community to learn about its new members with all the richness and beauty that comes from this exchange of cultures and traditions.

The project started in January 2016. AMU will support it for 18 months, from June 2016 to December 2017.

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