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Coordination Meeting in Milan

The fifth International Coordination Meeting of the project "NEAR - NEwly ARrived in common home" was held on 19 and 20 October in Milan, Italy.

The Fondazione ISMU (Italy) organized and hosted the event, which took place in its premises and counted on the participation of the project partners - AIDGLOBAL (Portugal), Tamat (Italy), CARDET (Cyprus) and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy) - and also with the participation of the communication agency "Giusti Eventi".

The opening of the Meeting began with the intervention of Fondazione ISMU, with the purpose of making a joint balance-sheet of the state of play of the course of the project, to give feedback on the activities already carried out in each of the countries and to plan the next steps for the last activities, in particular the final activity, the "Treasure Hunt", planned to be completed by the end of the year, in the 4 cities of intervention - Milan, Nicosia, Perugia and Lisbon.

In Portugal, the parish of Santa Clara, more specifically the Galinheiras neighbourhood, will be the stage for this initiative, which will take place on 12th of November and in which around 30 recently arrived migrants will be involved, all of whom are members of the project, including refugees, community agents and Iscte-IUL university students from various countries.

The next and last two International Meetings were then discussed, to take place in the first quarter of 2023, in Brussels and Cyprus, in order to present and disseminate the results of the project.

Scheduled to take place in February, the event in Brussels will bring together stakeholders and policy makers to discuss and reflect on how cities can involve migrants in their development. Each partner has the possibility to be accompanied by a guest speaker from a municipality in their country to talk about the actions they are implementing on the ground and to present local ideas for sustainability.

After a lunch that brought together the whole consortium, the moment they had all been waiting for arrived: the meeting with the Community Agents with and for whom Foundazione ISMU has collaborated, with the purpose of training them to provide a sustained and informed orientation to newly arrived migrants.

It was an opportunity for the project partners to hear the testimony of 7 Community Agents from Egypt, Philippines, Morocco, Somalia and Peru, who shared not only their stories, challenges, constraints but also significant achievements that, with determination and courage, managed to find their place in the world, overflowing, in their eyes, a sense of belonging to the territory that welcomed them and helped them rebuild their lives, making them enterprising citizens, activists and references for those around them, especially for those close to the newcomers. In the end, the common goal among those present was to contribute to the safeguarding of human dignity through the work they are currently doing for human and integrated development.

In the course of the day there was an opportunity to visit the Università Cattolica del Sacre Cuore, the project partner, a private Italian university of Catholic inspiration, founded in 1921 and based in Milan.

On the second day of work, the partners were shown Milan Central Station and Naviglio Martesana District, which led them to the urban park, where the community garden was developed and the starting point for the project's "Treasure Hunt", organised by Fondazione ISMU, in partnership with the Università Cattolica del Sacre Cuore. And it was here that they challenged AIDGLOBAL and the other organisations to form teams and start the competition, following the clues, whose coordinates were given through the Action Bound application, and fulfilling the various missions that they were discovering along the way.

For the project's final documentary, Fruttiamo, a leisure and convivial space, was the stage for the interviews conducted by Giusti Eventi with the representatives of each country and was also the place chosen to close the 2nd International Coordination Meeting of the "NEAR" project.

NEAR – NEwly ARrived in a common home” is a European project funded by the European Commission, under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) with the ISMU Foundation as a promoter and as partner entities TamatCARDET, and AIDGLOBAL and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. In Portugal, this project is being developed in the city of Lisbon.