Pollica for Ukraine, a project to welcome refugees in the small villages of Cilento

Repopulating the villages of Cilento: this is the challenge to which the Municipality of Pollica, the Future Food Institute and Mygrants intend to give an answer starting from the humanitarian emergency related to the war in Ukraine. They do so through a declaration of intent, signed this morning by Stefano Pisani, mayor of the Municipality of Pollica, Sara Roversi, president of the Future Food Institute, and by Chris Richmond Nzi, founder of Mygrants, which was born with the aim of welcoming to refugees fleeing Ukraine. A safe place to live, but also a place where conviviality, the table around which we gather, and training become a powerful tool for integration. The signing of the declaration of intent took place on the sidelines of the Pollica Digital Week, an event running until March 31 in the Castello dei Principi Capano di Pollica (Salerno). On an institutional visit to Italy, as part of a mission organized by the States General of Women in collaboration with the Future Food Institute, the Ukrainian parliamentarian Novytska Mariia Volodymyrivna, delegate of the government for human rights, announced her support for the initiative: it will be started a process to select women and children who will take part in the project.

A pilot project that in this first phase can involve up to a maximum of thirty people who will be welcomed in Cilento, in Pollica, where those fleeing from situations of great insecurity will be able to find a plural, welcoming and inclusive community that makes itself available to offer a process of integration and mutual discovery. A path that will initially include the linguistic facilitation and the sharing of the key values ​​of the “Mediterranean Diet” model from the self-production of food, with the possibility of tending the vegetable garden, to the conviviality, an instrument of peace. For those who wish, thanks to the programs offered by the Future Food Institute and Mygrants and the collaboration of Rareche Cilento, the New Cilento Cooperative and the General States of Women, it will also be possible to undertake training programs and insertion in the cultural, agricultural, catering and transformation sectors. agri-food. A Food Diplomacy project that identifies the banquet, an essential element of the Mediterranean Diet, as a powerful tool for inclusion and regeneration.

“Our Future Food Institute had the great fortune to meet Pollica, the Emblematic Community of the Mediterranean Diet and the City of Women, and right here in Pollica we learned that the banquet, the table where you share your daily bread, has great power : bringing people together. Now we will have to deal in particular with women and children, with a broken heart, fear and an uncertain future, but also a wealth of talents, knowledge and stories. An immense value.

For this reason, the collaboration with Mygrants is fundamental, which has been working for years for the integration of migrants and refugees starting from the mapping of profiles and the discovery of talents. But ours today is not a project aimed at finding “workforce”. We want to welcome new citizens and offer an opportunity for growth for our community. Here in Pollica our school is already inspired by the principles of the “Mediterranean Diet”: the enhancement and respect for diversity, the protection of resources, sustainable agricultural practices, the banquet, the vegetable garden and the enhancement of every “waste”.

So through a Food Diplomacy project we want to create a School of Peace, not just a welcome project, which will immediately solve a problem, but a project of social, cultural and also economic regeneration, creating the future with the citizens of tomorrow. During this journey, families will be welcomed and listened to, they will be offered the opportunity to learn about the life of the Mediterranean, to be able to cultivate a vegetable garden, to deal with a plural and international community but also to acquire skills that one day will also be able to offer them job opportunities. The Pollica Campus is a place where young people from all over the world are already trained on the issues of sustainability and food, very powerful tools for inclusion. We think that from here a project of great impact can be born to create bridges and welcome, to create a future together. All this happens also thanks to the close collaboration that our Institutional Relations Department has established with the Ukrainian Parliament thanks to its Human Rights Delegate, who has made herself available to start a process of selecting the families who will participate in the project, and this is only the ‘beginning ”explained Sara Roversi, president of the Future Food Institute.

“Once again the marginal areas of the country must be able to respond to emergencies. They did it when there was a pandemic and when we realized that the large spaces of the depopulated villages could be a solution to guarantee an adequate quality of life even at that moment. Now the marginal areas are called to take on another challenge: to be inclusive. Precisely the villages, with the important spaces at their disposal, could welcome refugees fleeing the conflict in Ukraine in the best possible way. We want to give dignity of life to these people who need to find at least a minimum of daily life and normality. We must welcome the people who have had to leave Ukraine with great solidarity and will to help. We must turn to them thinking about a project that will allow them to stay in our territory for a shorter or longer period. We want to do it with an inclusive and welcoming approach that takes care of people and their potential, creating conditions in which skills can be developed in the process of building the future, of people and of our territory that welcomes them. Through training we will break down linguistic and cultural barriers by welcoming, not guests, but temporary citizens while maintaining the dignity of each one intact and offering them the opportunity to cultivate and increase their wealth of skills “. said Stefano Pisani, mayor of Pollica and coordinator of Anci Piccoli Comuni Campania.

A fundraising campaign was held during Pollica Digital Week to support Mygrants’ GoFundMe campaign.

“The integration of knowledge, knowledge and skills could be the suitable and perfect solution to repopulate the villages, making them still very prosperous places, which have so much to say and make available. This is why we are honored to be in Pollica and to have launched a crowdfunding campaign to financially support Ukrainian people, making sure that in addition to training they can earn money based on the quality of their training path based on financial education for savings. . We think that not only awareness, but also the possibility of being able to demonstrate one’s skills and achieve economic and financial autonomy is a starting point for achieving effective independence. Mygrants is a for-profit start-up established in Bologna in 2017 that has decided to exploit the power of new technologies in favor of mapping the skills of migrants in order to maximize the usability of their skills in the host communities. Today Mygrants has more than 350 thousand active users on the platform, not only in Italy, but also in other parts of the world. With the crisis in Ukraine we have decided to translate all our information and training contents to promote full awareness of the rights, duties, functioning of the asylum system and facilitate the emergence of the skills of Ukrainian people who have already arrived or are arriving in Italy. The goal is to make sure that all the skills and talents can be useful not only for the job placement in specific sectors but in particular for the repopulation of all the small villages ”, said Chris Richmond Nzi, founder of Mygrants.

To support the Mygrants campaign – https://gofund.me/3d9fc4d2