Mediterranean Hope: “Out of the Darkness”, a new project kicks off in Calabria

A new grassroots solidarity initiative, in Camini, a little Calabrian municipality and positive model of reception.  Migrants from the Jungi Mundu cooperative at work to sew jackets with reflectors for causal workers in the Gioia Tauro Plain.

Rome (NEV), 21 April 2021 – Migrants helping casual workers in the Gioia Tauro Plain, through their jackets with reflectors, in order to prevent those who wear them whilst cycling to the fields for the fruit and vegetable harvest.  This is at the heart of “Out of the Darkness”, a participative grassroots charitable project in Calabria.

The initiative comes about through the collaboration between bodies active in the region: Cooperativa Eurocoop “Jungi Mundu” di CaminiMediterranean Hope and Sos Rosarnowhich, together, promote measures to safeguard migrants and prevent road accidents.

“Out of the Darkness,” explain its sponsors, “stems from the experience of widespread hospitality developed in the municipality of Camini through Cooperativa Eurocoop “Jungi Mundu”, and aims to raise €10,000 in order to donate 3.000 protective garments with reflective strips, in order to prevent the numerous road accidents involving causal workers who travel by bike during the hours of darkness to get to work in the fields”.

The garments will be sewn by migrants from the Camini tailoring workshop. Staff of Mediterranean Hope, the FCEI refugee programme will distribute them to migrants employed in the agricultural sector, starting in the autumn months, when the days are shorter and there is, unforutnately, a heightened risk of falling victim to an accident.

“In past months we have provided tools such as vests and bike lights,” explains Francesco Piobbichi, Mediterranean Hope team member – and we realised that they were no longer fit for purpose.  Accidents have, unfortunately, occurred, with some deaths and many injured. We therefore sought a positive example, such as that in Camini, to give us a hand and we expect to be able next season to distribute these to all migrants travelling the Plain’s streets by bike.  It is a small gesture, obviously, yet it can make a real difference to these people to whose rights, living conditions and dignity we continue to fail to guarantee.  It is not by chance that we have chosen an organisation which, in contrast, promotes decent work as a tool for emancipation of migrants and refugees: it is by extending rights to all that we can start again and contruct an ethical supply chain in Calabria and beyond.

“Solidarity which flows through crowdfunding is a new element in the battle for security and health for casual workers,” declares president of Eurocoop Jungi Mundu, Rosario Zurzolo.  “The right to health and to life are absolute; we simply cannot accept that they are daily put at risk.  With this new project, we are drawing attention to the issue but also to the possibility of taking action through concrete solutions.  We are certain that many will take part in this shared charitable project”.

“Supporting Out of the Darkness,” conclude the campaign sponsors, “means taking part in constructing a circular economy which works on three priority axes: action to prevent road accidents involving casual workers; creating regular employment for refugees transitioning from reception through their employment in the tailoring workshop; regeneration of second-hand clothes for distribution to vulnerable people”.

The crowdfunding campagin can be found here:

Eurocoop Servizi – Cooperativa Sociale – “Jungi Mundu” was established in Camini (Reggio Calabria) in 2011 and involves 118 beneficiaries of SAI (Reception and Integration System), most of which are families and minors from Syria, Nigeria, Libya, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Pakistan and Sudan. In Camini reception programmes are interwoven with various architectural projects, such as work to reconstruct village houses through restoration projects together with recovery of cultural heritage, tangible and intangible.  Projects have been established in workshops for creative arts, ceramics, textiles, tailoring, carpentry, instrument-making, local and Syrian cookery courses, children’s workshops, afterschool courses, teaching farm and the communal garden with production of organic oil, wine and wheat.

Mediterranean Hope is the migrant and refugee programme of the Italian Protestant churches (FCEI, Federazione delle chiese evangeliche in Italia). The Rosarno project is financed in large part by the Otto Per Mille fund of the Waldensian Church.