Parlamondo is an assistance service activated by COSPE after the Italian government announced some immediate economic measures. COSPE is thus supporting vulnerable households affected by the closure of non-essential activities due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Parlamondo was set up after a specific needs assessment and implemented in cooperation with a number of local grassroots organisations and civil society organisations (Accoglienza Non Governativa, Comunità delle Piagge, Le Curandaie, etc.). It is run by volunteers who provide information and concrete assistance in the procedure for accessing the economic subsidies provided by the Italian government (such as income support, rent subsidies, meal vouchers, etc.) and other various support services offered at grassroots and local level. To this end, a telephone number and e-mail have been activated for civil society and grassroots organisations that have direct relations with the final beneficiaries, as well as for individuals and families.
The impact of the lockdown mainly affects low paid workers and workers in the informal sector, including young people and women, who are often in precarious or fixed-term employment and have no access to social protection, paid sick leave or support in case of loss of earnings. In this respect, migrants are particularly vulnerable to discrimination due to language barriers, social isolation and poor living and working conditions, as well as the lack of legal, regulatory and practical barriers to access public services. As in a situation of closure without access to offices, foreign families have great difficulty in understanding the requirements, content or modalities of access to the benefits provided by the government.
The services provided by COSPE usually include translating official policies, new regulations and other important information related to the economic measures taken by the government into the languages spoken by migrant citizens, and ensuring that people can easily obtain the information and assistance they need.
To this end, two mapping exercises have been carried out to collect the available information in relation to the services available. One in relation to the services available on the territory of Greater Florence to support families in need (such as information services, the provision of shopping vouchers or food banks, etc.) and another in relation to the modalities of allocation of the government economic subsidies intended for households and persons in economic distress that do not benefit from any other type of government economic subsidies implemented by the main municipalities of the area.
This activity responds concretely to the most urgent needs of the migrants in this crisis and makes it possible to establish a direct relationship between people who support each other. This strengthens community ties and solidarity.