Mosaico Association – Actions for Refugees is an apolitical and non-partisan social promotion association which was founded in Turin in 2006 as an initiative from group of refugees from different countries. Over the years, Mosaico has carried out projects aimed at supporting, guiding and integrating refugees, in addition to raising awareness among the entire citizenry. Mosaico’s goal is to facilitate integration and inclusion processes for newcomers as well as advocacy for asylum practice.
Yagoub Kibeida, Executive Director of Mosaico, explains that within the COMET project, Mosaico develops pre-departure orientation activities, provides tools and offer the best practices. The aim is to facilitate and to create tools for better integration and inclusion, to prevent conflict between host communities and beneficiaries, to smooth cross-cultural pathways and consciousness, to redefine roles of long-distance hosting families, and to support gender issues.
The purpose of the pre-departure activities is to stimulate conversation, understand beneficiaries’ individual migration plans, and clarify the roles and responsibilities of the actors involved. Mosaico will also act as a cultural supervisor and facilitator that supports the development of processes and tools with attention to cross-cultural topics which are culturally sensitive (ie: gender issues, minorities…).
Mosaico also provides arrival planning and support during the first months of the beneficiary in a new country, support for people who have suffered trauma, and team building involving the local communities. As a cultural mediator, the Association tries to prevent conflicts between host communities and beneficiaries by strengthening cultural awareness and communication.
The fact that Mosaico was created by immigrants is an added value because it facilitates relationships with beneficiaries, especially with minors who could have some trust issues. By speaking their language, understanding their culture and the way of thinking, or knowledge of their background, it allows people from the association to be a help in the relationship building with beneficiaries.
Mosaico has a fruitful partnership with another COMET’s partner, Association Frantz Fanon, whose work focuses on migrants’ mental health with an ethnopsychiatric approach. Together, they are able to develop linguistic and cultural mediation, pre-departure and post-arrival facilitation.
Another ongoing partnership is with Intersos for Pagella in tasca, a study programme for refugee minors, which is one of the programmes that participates in the COMET network. Mosaico, Frantz Fanon and UNHCR facilitate meetings with beneficiaries but also with the host communities. For instance, they answer questions about the minors (i.e. their backgrounds and personal stories) in preparation for their arrival, or they meet with beneficiaries to better understand their expectations. The orientation is then decided for every individual case.
Common goal of Intersos and Mosaico also is to advocate for safer pathways, so that minors can arrive in Italy without risking their life in the desert or in the Mediterranean, and to pave a new path for better integration and inclusion.
Along with the other associations, Mosaico faces issues regarding immigration projects, living conditions, citizenship pathways, process of knowing the territory, cultural awareness and healthcare.