Green Valley, when Integration is fostered by Work
Green Valley is a company with a soul as well as with e sense of social responsibility.
In 2018 it developed a first project of job integration with four migrant workers, living in the territory of the Aquila province.
Sekou Camara and Moussa Sedibe, come from Mali, a former French colony, with about 18 million inhabitants divided in 7 main ethnic groups; a place where war is a constant feature.
Having taken refuge in Italy for humanitarian reasons, thanks to the collaboration between Green Valley and the Reception Centre of Sulmona (AQ), Sekou and Moussa worked in the company during the Summer of 2018 until the end of the agricultural season.
The Reception service for Applicants of International Protection is a service requiring a high degree of professionalism and humanity as the individuals who benefit from the service come, in almost all cases, from war-stricken countries.
One of the main focuses in which the Cooperative is engaged, is that of flanking each visitor of the Centre on a pathway which of approaches and discovers the reality in which the individual now is living.
Sekou e Moussa hanno lavorato, in maniera particolare, nel team di raccolta e lavorazione della cannabis sativa coltivata in Valle Subequana.
‘In the past few years we’ve welcomed a large number of asylum seekers – Giorgia Mazzotta, one of the project managers, tells us – and we’ve experienced the problems of those travelling, with enormous risks, in search of a different path of life: we’ve listened to and tried to help people surviving ship wreckages, violence in the Libyan jails, commercial exploitation and trafficking of human beings, malnutrition. We’ve tried and we are still trying to work with due respect to everybody, including those of the territory, without clamour or publicity, but with dignity as the ultimate aim’.
The activities on the territory of the reception centre started in May 2016 and ended end May 2019, due to the disposition of closure of the centre itself and the contextual transfer of its visitors to other reception structures, present in the Aquila Provence.
David Onaghise and Paschal, come from Nigeria, they live in the town of Cansano (AQ) and were included in a SPRAR project by the Cooperative Horizon Service, protection system for asylum seekers and refugees.
The System of protection for asylum seekers and refugees is composed of a network of local corporations, which, with the support of the local ‘third sector’ realities, guarantees interventions of ‘integrated hospitality’, which provide measures of information, accompaniment, assistance and orientation, through the development of individual pathways to socio-economic integration.
The four guys have been involved, through a very close collaboration between the company and the cooperative, in all the hemp processing operations.
In particular, they developed knowledge and skill in two distinct phases. In the first one, before harvesting, during which they came to correctly determining the right stage of ripening of the field.
Verifying and contrasting the presence of negative agents, in order to promote a healthy growth of the plant. Defoliation and monitoring of the field.
The second phase, instead, regards harvesting, drying, cleaning the plant material and checking it on the presence of external agents.
The guys worked in the processing team composed of eight individuals, of which three women, showing team spirit and cooperation in the resolution of obstacles and difficulties which can present themselves during the agricultural season.
In this manner, work becomes a ‘tool’ of integration as it has favoured the activation of various positive dynamics within the community in which work is carried out.
The intercultural exchange allowed the team of Green Valley, exclusively made up by Italians, to encounter a very different culture from their own, and for the African guys it was a great opportunity to obtain knowledge and learning.
The daily presence at work allowed the guys to practise and learn the Italian language better day by day and to discover the rules and habits necessary for a team to work in a fruitful and organised way.
Among the positive aspects to be underlined, we can find a major acquisition of familiarity with the territory, hence higher self-knowledge and a sense of being able to live in a territory as active and not passive individuals.
The four guys arrived at the workplace autonomously each morning, by public transport, to then join the rest of the team and start the work to be carried out that day.
A year after the beginning of this project Sekou Camara has continued to work regularly in the Green Valley team, where he developed increasing knowledge and skills regarding working and processing cannabis.
“My experience with Green Valley has been highly positive so far – Sekou Camara tells us – I’ve worked a lot with the team, with which I feel very comfortable. I have been mainly engaged in the field activities. I really like this job very much, but there are still a lot of things I have to learn”.