Calabria for centuries has been a land of departures and arrivals. This is a testimony to the cultural stratification that makes it special within the Italian panorama. Today, however, the flow of migrants and asylum seekers have forced the Italian regions to face a great challenge, that of hospitality, in the absence of a unified European policy aimed at building new communities. A compelling theme, one of the great questions of our time.
But at the base there is no loss of interesting initiatives. How appropriate that we begin speaking about it here. At Terranova da Sibari, Calabria, the inland town that dominates the plain of Sybaris, the non-profit organization Per un’Europa dei Popoli has decided to open a cultural center and start training and social workshops, constructing spaces for sharing, human interaction, support and intercultural exchange, to create an information point for women. The proposed activities will be directed to native women, migrants and asylum seekers and minors of all backgrounds.
Antonia Romano, City Councilor in Trento but originally from Calabrian and the promoter of the initiative, tells Yes Calabria that: “Local communities, especially if they are characterized by stories of emigration, cannot avoid accepting in their territory asylum seekers, those who have to leave their land for environmental, economic or political reasons. The emergent acceptance and effort to save human lives, must be accompanied by practical integration in the host communities, beyond the concept of multiculturalism to open the interaction between people and cultures, dialogue between peoples and religions.”
“The intercultural center, open and buzzing, managed by a non-profit organization with the possibility to help migrant women become active players, is just the first step that aims to promote within Calabria the association created a year ago through the desire of three women to make a tangible contribution to a land too often described as a land of degradation, crime and incivility. With the belief that the South could produce interesting and encouraging examples of good social practices, and with the certainty that the vast territory… could become an experimental laboratory where social capital is the only capital of value, and to increase the non-profit agency, Per un’Europa dei Popoli which aims to open shortly an Extraordinary Hospitality Center for vulnerable women and also start a project of social agriculture in which there will always be the native women, migrants and asylum seekers be active protagonists of activities that will benefit the entire local population.”
“All this – in conclusion – without neglecting moments of cultural analysis, the first of which in June will be the presentation of the book by Maurizio Alfano entitled Italiani Razzisti per Bene (Italians, Racists for Good) for the inauguration of the cultural center in which also invited is the bishop of Rossano. The same book will be presented in Castrovillari, the country where the headquarters of the non-profit group and where the project will be realized.”