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Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union 

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union

Cometa | Special programs for migrants

La Cometa  since 2009 has been developing special programs for migrants aiming at providing them with an effective training, a social support and a guided transition to job market. The collaboration with local institutions, social cooperatives dealing with migrants and companies, has always been crucial. 

Cometa operates in Como, a town at the border between Italy and Switzerland. This condition makes Como an intermediate destination for many migrants whose final destination is usually Germany or, in some cases, the same Switzerland. However because of controls at the border and the international agreements (Dublin agreement), leaving Como is always impossible. Since few years ago, Cometa has been supporting migrants, and in particular minors, coming from all these places. All of them face the same challenges:

  • no social support in a foreign context;
  • no or low knowledge of Italian language;
  • poor conditions of the family in their own country and need to support them from Italy;
  • barriers to enter the job market
  • social exclusion

More in details, migrants attending Cometa courses are mainly minors or young adults. Minors live in special communities managed by NGOs, funded, according to the Italian law, by the local Municipality. They get a temporary visa, although, in many cases, they ask for asylum because of their origin from unsafe countries (war conditions, persecutions based on religion or gender).

Cometa has been promoting different programs and training courses based on similar concepts: basic literacy and numeracy, training in one of the local economic sectors where job offers are significant, counselling and legal support, internship and, eventually, transition to job.

The experience developed in the last 10 years let Cometa to consolidate a specific structure of intervention played by key actors:

One coordinator is in charge of supervising training projects and programs, supporting staff and, above all, meeting every beneficiary.

Welcoming staff: two people (in collaboration with staff from the communities where migrants live) take care of the first welcome to migrants, interviewing them according to a specific protocol where their profiles emerge and a preliminary personalized project is designed. Their role does not end with welcoming migrants, but continues during their training giving them a personal support, including the evaluation of their training needs and scouting. They suggest beneficiaries not only specific formal training activities, but they also involve them in non formal moments, including voluntary jobs and social or cultural activities, in order to evaluate their intrinsic motivation and promote also a social integration in the local context.

The Business-Education relationship manager, supported by the Cometa Career Service staff and by the coordinator, takes care of the needs (vacancies, skills) companies highlight. The role is crucial in addressing the training needs as emerged from the local job market; as a consequence, the manager can more easily match every beneficiary with a company for their internship, supporting both the learner and the company tutor in facing problems or challenges emerging during the job experience.

A tutor is in charge of a class of migrants attending a specific program; this role is not just supportive during the training activities at school or on the job place during internship; their role include an educational and human support to recover beneficiaries’ self-efficacy. Due to its daily contact with each learner, the tutor offers a crucial support to the coordinator in the process of integration of each beneficiary, including legal and administrative procedures and, mainly, personal psychological advice. In some problematic cases, the tutor can suggest the migrant to meet an ethnopsychologist.

 

 

 

 

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