Study Visit in Vertecoeli Reception Centre - Naples, Italy
The Study visit took place on the 13th July 2019, after the project’s two days training in the headquarters of L.E.S.S.
The Verteceoli reception centre was introduced by Baba Limam, operator and cultural-linguistic mediator of the centre, and Tamas Toth, volunteer.
The visit started with a short briefing about the work of L.E.S.S. Onlus as a local NGO, the SPRAR protection system and the Italian political and economic environment to put in context the migration situation in the South of Italy. Then Baba Limam and Tamas Toth presented the centre’s history and its activities.
Tamas Toth explained that L.E.S.S. is a local NGO in Naples which aims social inclusion, integration and support of asylum seekers, people entitled to international protection or marginalized groups within the society (e.g. economic migrants, detained people). Furthermore, he said, its main goal is the promotion of active citizenship and full recognition of migrant identities through legal assistance in accordance with SPRAR system.
Then, Baba Limam illustrated the integrated approach towards support systems used by L.E.S.S.: Legal/psychological/healthcare assistance, language course, trainings and other activities (e.g. art, environmental awareness, entertainment) to enter the labour market.
After that, the visitors were informed that L.E.S.S. has eight reception centres and private houses for families in Naples and on the island of Procida, where 172 beneficiaries are hosted. The staff is composed of almost 50 employees, social workers, psychologists, volunteers, interns etc.
After the introduction of L.E.S.S., Baba Limam and Tamas Toth presented the Italian Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR) which, he said, is made up of the network of local institutions that implement reception projects for forced migrants by accessing, within the available resources, the National Fund for Asylum Policies and Services, managed by the Minister of the Interior and provided under the Government finance law.
According to Baba Limam, the local institutions, in cooperation with voluntary sector organisations, undertake ‘integrated reception’ interventions going beyond the simple distribution of food and housing, also providing complementary services such as legal and social guidance and support, and the development of individual programmes to promote socioeconomic inclusion and integration.
During the presentation, the new security policy issued by the Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini – called “Decreto Salvini” – and its negative effects were introduced, as well as the obstacles that the NGOs working with migrants are facing since its implementation.
Thereafter, the Vertecoeli reception centre was presented: managed by two operators, one of whom is Baba Limam, the centre hosts 22 male beneficiaries, most of them coming from Benin, Cameroon, Gambia, Nigeria and Senegal. Within the SPRAR system they are entitled to housing, monthly food and pocket money allowance, trainings and language courses. As claimed by Baba Limam, the beneficiaries hosted in the centre are responsible for cooking and cleaning the spaces they live, to become autonomous and self-sufficient.
After the presentation, some videos were projected by Vittorio Bianco, communication manager at L.E.S.S.
Vittorio presented some of the services, activities, workshops and events organised by L.E.S.S. the presentation was followed by a moment of debate and discussion within the group.
At the end of the Study visit, the group had the chance to visit the Vertecoeli reception centre. The kitchen, dining-room, the laundry and the living space of the beneficiaries were presented to the guests.
Verteceoli Centre has an important role in the integration and support of beneficiaries and their inclusion in the local society.