“Parlamondo” is a service activated by COSPE after the Italian government promulgated some emergency economic measures to sustain vulnerable households affected by the closure of non-essential activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Parlamondo was created after a specific need assessment and implemented in collaboration with a number of local grassroots organizations and CSOs (Accoglienza Non Governativa/Non-governmental reception, Comunità delle Piagge, Le Curandaie, etc.). It is managed by volunteers who provide information and concrete support in the procedure to access the economic subsidies made available by the Italian government (such as income support, support for rent, food vouchers etc.) and to other various support services offered at grassroots and local level. To this purpose, it has been activated a telephone number and an email both for CSOs and grassroots organizations who have direct relationships with the final beneficiaries, and for individuals and families.
The impact of the lockdown particularly affects low-wage workers and those in the informal sector, including youth and women, who are often in precarious or temporary jobs and lack access to social protection, paid sick leave, or lost earnings support. In this regard, migrants face particular vulnerabilities due to language obstacles, social isolation and poor living and working conditions, in addition to obstacles in accessing public services due to a lack of legal, regulatory and practical barriers. As in a situation of lockdown with no access to the offices, foreign families have found themselves in great difficulty in understanding the requirements, the content or the modalities of access to the benefits provided by the government.
The services offered typically include translating official guidelines, new rules and other important information related to the economic measures taken by the government into the languages spoken by citizens of migrant origin, as well as making sure that people can easily receive the information and the needed support. In order to do so, two mapping procedures have been carried out to gather the information available relative to the services available: one relative to the services available in the territory of Metropolitan Florence that sustain families in distress (such as: information services, supply of shopping vouchers or food banks, etc) and another relative to the modalities of assignment of the government economic subsides destined to households and persons in economic distress that do not perceive other type of economic subside from the government carried out by the principal municipalities in the territory.
This activity respond concretely to migrant citizens’ most urgent needs in this crisis and allow to establish a direct relationship among people who will support each other, strengthening community ties and solidarity.