A new paradigm of inclusion of young migrants through agri-culture! Migrants create their own educational project based on agriculture, sharing agricultural skills with the community and spreading the message that agriculture is about “taking care and cultivating” (the land, but also non-discriminatory relationships). Together with other citizens, migrants promote training, workshops, a tutoring program for vulnerable people, a TV show. From strangers to exploit, they become community makers.
The suburban and poorest neighborhoods of Bassano, namely Angarano, Rondò Brenta, XXV Aprile.
Agriculture is historically a very dear sector in our area and it is suffering due to COVID-19. It is also the sector in which young migrants end up exploited, as the strike of May 21st, organized by migrants exploited in agriculture, proves. Those young migrants acquire competences in agriculture but lack legal protection or opportunities for integration, while the rest of the community seems helpless. We face a cultural and human challenge: can our community look at migrants as knowledge sources and co-citizens? Can we build relational bridges between migrants and the community? We will start from migrants to ignite a different idea of a community: one that is open all, as Europe is. We leverage two areas that matter to locals, agriculture, and social challenges.
The project will shift the way we see migrants: instead of exploiting them, we can learn from their technical competences and also let them participate in solving social challenges. Migrants will ask locals to co-create workshops and educational materials, and organize courses in their own shop/bar/restaurant/association/school etc. Those who never got to know a migrant personally will be involved by migrants, to become clients (buy products from migrants’ garden, the weekly market, home delivery), students (attend workshops, follow the TV show), co-creators (participate in the harvest and wine production, support the public garden, discover the tutoring program with vulnerable people) and advocates (invite migrants to run a workshop in their own company/farm/shop).
We target young migrants who face marginalization and ghettoization: 20% of young people in the target areas are migrant/second generation and 5% do not speak Italian at all; 6% of minors are followed by Social Services, 15% abandoned school prematurely or is a neet. The project is actually inspired by an original idea of two of those migrants, previously working illegally in the areas of Rondò Brenta, and now part of our cooperative. To promote a cultural shift in the way migrants are considered, we will involve the general audience and most skeptical citizens: students, kids, teachers, university researchers, shops, farmers, the media, Presidents of the 3 target neighborhoods, local associations, and those focused on their own difficult situation (old people, families, social workers)
-workshops on agriculture and EU value of non-discrimination: for schools (how to run a school garden and become more European), universities (biotechniques for social cohesion), restaurant owners and clients (match wines and cultures), bars/shops (ethical happy hour), citizens (agri-culture to cultivate our community)
-online agri-culture tutorials: for schools, citizens, radios (podcast)
-agri-cultural show: migrants tell their personal stories, speak of ethical agriculture, EU values on local TVs
-tutoring program: migrants support vulnerable people (daily centers, NEETs, elderly associations) in the creation of a public garden, weekly market, home delivery and ask the support of local companies
-final event: harvest and wine production in our fields, all town together
Outputs: 10 migrants trained as tutors for vulnerable people, 30 vulnerable people tutored, 1 public garden created in our land, 1 local market, delivery to the target area, 1000 students involved, 1 school summer camp, 30 companies/farms/shops/restaurants networked, 500 citizens in workshops, 250 citizens in the final harvest.
Outcomes: 1 job placement sustained by crowdfunding, 10 young migrants willing to join next year, positive results of interviews/questionnaire submitted to sceptical citizens and families of the vulnerable people in the area, partnership of the Municipality, sponsorship to create a logo and packaging.
Communication/dissemination: 1 radio podcast, 10 articles on newspapers, 1 show on local TVs, 1 cinema projection, 1 letter to institutions.
The European Agenda on Migration stresses how diversity and social cohesion are of huge importance for a long-term solution to migration. This is why we wish to affect the way people in Bassano think of “us” as the community: inclusion and non-discrimination are key for the participation of all citizens. Our project gives citizens the opportunity to break prejudice, and young migrants the opportunity to build a bridge with locals and change the culture. As the UN migration agency spokesperson has told, the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on migrants, highly represented in the food industry, is a huge concern. We will show that when entrepreneurial ideas create value for the community, the community supports them.
We test an innovative approach to inclusion: migrants become advocates for the community (rather than seeking help from it) and ask citizens to take a stand towards EU values of inclusion and ethic work conditions. We support vulnerable people, youngsters, people with disabilities, and migrants since 2014 and create social entrepreneurship projects in which they are the managers! We thus know how diversity brings added value to any entrepreneurship. We believe the community will notice how resourceful our migrants are, and how much they can learn by sharing skills, values, stories with them. We will all feel more part of the EU Community if we work on what community means for us citizens, by mixing and matching ideas, proposals, stories, needs, in the name of inclusion and social cohesion.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Online workshops 1500
Tv show 5000
Radio podcast 0
Offline workshops and courses for schools/shops/farms/restaurants/citizens 4000
Public garden 3000
Local market 2000
Final harvest open event 0
Work contract/internship for 10 migrants 25,000 + our own co-funding
Gardening tools/fuel 1000
How do you ignite a cultural shift in citizens in your regions, promoting a new culture of inclusion of young migrants? Did you experiment with project in which migrants are empowered and advocates of participation, being the ones who help the community rather than being the ones seeking help?