What are the needs of the quintessential migrant, and what is the one best way to cater to them? In Cesena, the municipality has made it clear that there is only one way to answer this question: to dismiss it. Different associations in Cesena see migrants variously as families, as children, as individuals, as jobseekers, as refugees; the work these groups do with migrants centres around creativity, around language, around housing, jobs and culture. No, there is no quintessential migrant, and no ‘best way’ for integration.
That is why, on 11 June, the city sat together with 10 different associations working with volunteering initiatives for integration. Creating a coherent overview, and effective action, requires coordination between these groups, as well as financial support. As part of its work on the VALUES project, the city is engaging these organisations and enabling communication between them.
From social farming, to sewing workshops, to women’s groups, Cesena already has a lot of innovative integration practices. Meetings like this one, which was just the beginning of a 24 month journey towards a structure that binds the city and its integration organisations, are sure to breed many more.