A study visit of Rischio Minore project was held in Pordenone, Italy, from 08 to 10 July 2019. Study visit participants from BiH were representatives of Caritas BiH, Youth for Peace and Cantonal Center for Social Work Sarajevo. The hosts of the meeting were project partners of Rischio Minore in Italy, Cooperative Consorzio Leonardo and Laboratorio Scuola cooperativa sociale ONLUS. Project Rischio Minore is funded by the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (Italy) and Caritas Italiana.
At the very beginning of the study visit, the participants visited Confcooperative Pordenone - the headquarters of various cooperatives of Pordenone province. Confcooperative Pordenone is an umbrella organization representing and supporting all cooperatives in this province. In their headquarters the premises of cooperative Consorzio Leonardo, partner of the Rischio Minore project, are located. The Consortium Leonardo, a consortium of social cooperatives, was founded in 1998 in Pordenone, with the aim of strengthening cooperation between cooperatives and promoting their development. This Consortium encompasses 10 social cooperatives working in the Pordenone area to provide support to various groups: minors, elderly people, people with disabilities, addicts, migrants and other people in need. At the very beginning of the visit, the participants were welcomed by Mrs. Nicole Colussi, the project manager of the Rischio Minore project in Italy and the employee of Consorzio Leonardo and Mr. Luigi Piccoli, President of Confcooperative Pordenone and Director of Consorzio Leonardo. After the initial meeting, Mr. Piccolo and Mrs. Colussi clarified the role of social cooperatives in Italy and how they complement the services of social work centers and provide support to minors in risk.
During the visit to the Caritas Concordia-Pordenone Diocese, Mr. Andrea Barachino, director of this diocese Caritas welcomed visitors from Bosnia and Herzegovina and together with the staff explained how this diocese provides assistance and support to various vulnerable categories (with listening centers, collection and distribution centers, legal aid...). In addition, in cooperation with the two cooperatives this Caritas provides assistance to migrants/refugees, as well as homeless people in finding homes. Visitors also had the opportunity to meet the author of the exhibition set up in the premises of this Diocesan Caritas, Mrs. Maria Chiara Caccia, who explained that the aim of the exhibition was to tell the citizens of Pordenone the story of the asylum seekers about their escape and the journey that led to this city. The exhibition consists of three parts: portrait and individual stories about asylum seekers, demanding complex and complicated procedures for obtaining asylum status, and process of mastering the Italian language and the Latin alphabet of asylum seekers. The exhibition has symbolic title Chiunque nel giustificato timore - Everyone in justified fear.
At the end of the day, Mrs. Nicole Colussi held the presentation of the Rischio Minore project to the employees of Caritas Concordia-Pordenone Diocese, representatives of social work center and partners of these organizations. Mr. Daniel Eror, Youth for Peace and Mrs. Ivona Vidačković, Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina, presented the project activities and work with children and youth at risk in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Next project steps, workshops and summer camp for young people have been announced.
On the second day, visitors were welcomed by representatives of Cooperative Laboratorio Scuola. Mrs. Roberta Gambellin, educator and coordinator of the Laboratorio Scuola has shown the premises of this cooperative - a house where children at risk are accommodated and divided into two groups: 3 to 11 years of age and teenagers. Mrs. Gambellin, together with Mrs. Valentina Sterrantino, an educator working with teenagers, presented activities that are carried out on a daily basis with an aim to empower children and young people at risk. In professional team of Laboratorio Scuola there are 7 educators, psychologist and coordinator who are continuously supervising children. The Laboratorio Scuola has limited capacity and child care is carried out based on a court decision and in agreement with families. They provide social, educational, protection and care services to children and their families and are the only one of this kind is Pordenone.
In the premises of Laboratorio Scuola, a Trauma and Recovery training was held by a psychologist, Mrs. Francesca Bortolotto. This topic is of utmost importance for study visit participants, as they need presented skills and knowledge in their day-to-day work in order to successfully help and strengthen children and young people who have experienced trauma. Mrs. Bortolotto presented the theoretical points of reference and provided practical advices with the focus on work with children who had experienced trauma.
On the third day of the study visit the cooperative Colore del Grano, was presented by their president. Casa mamma-bambino Il Noce - The Mother and Baby House Il Noce’s activities are carried out to enable mothers and children to live in a peaceful and secure environment that will strengthen their relationships and encourage women's autonomy. Therefore, staff is not available for 24 hours, but based on their needs, which encourages mother’s autonomy. The psycho-pedagogical team consists of a pedagogical coordinator, two teachers and a supervisor, carrying out activities. They are additionally supported by external consultants involved in specific psychological or psycho-pedagogical aspects.
During the study visit, visitors had the opportunity to get more information about functioning of the Center for Social Work. The representatives of Center for Social Work of Pordenone explained to visitors from Bosnia and Herzegovina how they provide protection for minors in need and that there is a special department in their office dealing with minors under judicial protection. In addition, recently established program focuses on the family and the needs of minors who are at risk, and the prevention and strengthening of family relationships. They work closely with the court and social cooperatives (such as the Laboratorio Scuola) to find the best solution to provide adequate support and assistance to minors. When it comes to adoption, it is a practice that health care institutions are in charge within established counseling centers. Centers for social work are focused on fostering, and with the expert team perform evaluation and are linking children in need with foster families.
The last official visit was held at the Daily Center for Minors and Families in Maniago, administered by the Laboratorio Scuola Cooperative. Mrs. Alessia Zanon, the educator and coordinator of the center, showed the center and explained that they employ full time coordinator and two educators and additionally two psychologists if needed. In this day center, twelve children who live under difficult conditions, ages 6 to 11, have the opportunity to stay in a safe environment where skilled staff provides them various educational and therapeutic services.
The delegation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was represented by the partners of the Rischio Minore project from BiH, Mrs. Ivona Vidačković, Caritas BiH and Mr. Daniel Eror, Youth for Peace, Trainers of Youth for Peace who are working with children: Mrs. Emina Frljak, Mrs. Melika Miralem, Mrs. Berina Bulatović, Mr. Adel Homoraš and on behalf of the Sarajevo Cantonal Center for Social Work, the Social Protection Department of Ilidža Municipality, Mrs. Dženita Dibrani, a Social Worker.