Very often, when we analyse the migration phenomenon outside the emergency rhetoric, we continue to focus on the phase of disembarkation and on the first flow management.
Anything that is subsequent to the arrivals and that is placed in the reception phase receives less attention. This is why I feel that a personal reflection on the importance of initiatives and gestures aimed at inclusion within the host society is necessary.
Being included means feeling part of a group and having access to fundamental rights in a dimension of openness and sharing.
On the contrary, failure to participate in the life of the community generates exclusion.
Migrants living in a state other than their country of origin are too often imprisoned in marginal situations that make inclusion very complicated.
For this reason, it is important to analyse and put into practice tools and initiatives that can create a better, pluralistic, welcoming and open society.
With this in mind, MOAS has created the Family Hosting Project in Malta, a reception project that allows families to welcome migrants into their homes, offering support and assistance to help them integrate into Maltese society.
The first family who joined the annual project welcomed Samuel, a 21-year-old man who arrived in Malta from South Sudan, to their home.
Throughout the year, Samuel continued his studies in the hope of one day becoming a doctor, his lifelong dream.
The project is an experience of mutual growth that focuses on the importance of sharing that arises from the encounter between different cultures and realities. It is a pilot initiative that highlights the need to work together to defeat discrimination and prejudice in the Maltese community.
A similar project, which one can adhere to without having to host someone in their home, is that of sponsorship.
The first family who joined the project welcomed Samuel, a 21-year-old man who arrived in Malta from South Sudan, to their home- Regina Catrambone
The programme designed by MOAS, which will start next September, is aimed at individuals and families willing to support a young person between the age of 18 and 30 for a one-year period. The support provider (sponsor/mentor) is committed to supporting a person in the migrant community who is taking or would be taking part in some sort of training or education.
The sponsor will facilitate the social integration of the young person by supporting them and guiding them through the development of various skills.
MOAS will facilitate the project by offering meetings with a social worker, advice on the paperwork of training and study courses, tablets and connections for those without it and any kind of assistance to facilitate both parties where necessary.
The project aims to build connections between the migrant community and the local community by creating a model of society based on reciprocity and enrichment, which arises from the encounter between people of a different background.
Projects of growth, inclusion, reception and sponsorship are different tools that show us the importance of the involvement of civil society in issues concerning migration and integration, the strength inherent in every small gesture to improve, within the host country, the life of those who have been forced to flee and abandon their land.
For those interested in taking part in the family hosting project and sponsorship projects as either a host family, a sponsor, or a beneficiary, you can get more information by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For those wishing to support them, it is possible to donate on www.moas.eu/donate/.
Regina Catrambone is co-founder of Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS).