Allegrini 2018

The ICARE project, refugees and asylum seekers in the Brunello vineyards of Tenute Silvio Nardi

Work and healthcare for 24 young migrants participating in the EU and Tuscany Region project, involving also the San Francesco Social Cooperative

It is well known that the most advanced agriculture, such as the one in which wine is produced, is fertile land for integration through work and culture, as well as the culture of work. The “Babel tower” of languages, in the sense of variety, heard in the vineyards all over Italy, especially during harvest time, narrates this phenomenon. Moreover, for quite a while now, several Italian wineries have married the cause of another Italian excellence, which is the so-called “third sector”, and they have made a quality leap to activate it. We told you about the project of the Umbrian winery Arnaldo Caprai (that rediscovered Sagrantino di Montefalco), together with Caritas of Foligno, and the project in Bordeaux, France, of Château Pédesclaux and the Ovale Citoyen Association in the fields, and now there is another uplifting story from the Brunello di Montalcino vineyards, involving one of the top leading wine companies in the area, Tenute Silvio Nardi of Emilia Nardi, together with the Italian healthcare organization ASL Toscana Sud Est (southeast Tuscany). The project is called “ICARE” (Integration & Community Care for Asylum and Refugees in Emergency), and it has been financed with European Union resources that have been granted to the Tuscany Region, and implemented by the Italian national healthcare organization, ASL Toscana Sud Est, which has required various fields of expertise: agronomist, psychologist, occupational medicine experts, safety in the workplace, cultural mediation and accompanying services. Therefore, 24 young migrants, asylum seekers or International protection permit holders, arriving from Togo, Mali, Pakistan, Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Benin and Gambia, are in Casal del Bosco, headquarters of the Silvio Nardi Estates and have started the path by learning how to prune vines and olive trees. There are, however, also various other professions available to them, like agronomist, psychologist, and occupational medicine experts, safety in the workplace, as well as cultural mediation and accompanying services.
“The initiative reflects the DNA of our family”, commented Emilia Nardi, president of Tenute Silvio Nardi. “Work is fundamental for each one of us and to me it seemed an important opportunity to train and integrate these people”, explained the owner of the winery, Emilia Nardi, daughter of Silvio Nardi, the first “foreigner” (even though he came from nearby Umbria) to invest in wine in Montalcino, in 1958. The principal objective of the project, which will last 6 months, is to guarantee the health of the migrants, Lia Simonetti, of ASL Toscana sud est, said, “and training to be integrated into the working world is included in this context. The Region presented the project and then a European Union loan funded it. We found an enthusiastic company and a Cooperative that were able to put together the expertise to activate an all-out action. The result is to encourage an approach to the working world by guaranteeing training and safety”. The Cooperative mentioned above is the San Francesco di Poggibonsi Social Agricultural Cooperative. “Work”, confirmed the president, Nicola Peirce, “is the first step towards a path of true integration. Our goal is to raise the quality of training for these people so that they will become autonomous and be available for companies, which always need skilled labor”.
Stefania Magi, director of UOS Intercultural Medicine and Inclusion paths of the ASL Toscana Sud Est said that their intent is also to “support the psycho-physical health of the person through professional training, guaranteeing practical and theoretical knowledge that can be used on the territory in a stable job placement”.
According to Maria Jose Caldes Pinilla, director the Tuscany Region Global Health Center and scientific manager of the project, “the ICARE project initiatives are an integral part of a healthcare model that sees work as the foundation for improving people’s living conditions. The possibility of becoming part of a professional training course means offering hope for a better future, and hope restores dignity”. This is yet another heartwarming story that comes from the wine world.

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