From Crotone to Sibari, the INTERSOS mobile unit in northern Calabria assists homeless migrants. The project starts with two doctors and three cultural mediators to inform about coronavirus prevention and to make medical examinations.



The new INTERSOS project has started in Calabria. An activity started with the Region and the provincial health companies of Crotone and Cosenza, to face the COVID-19 emergency even among the most vulnerable: migrants and homeless people living in informal settlements in the high Ionian area, from Isola di Capo Rizzuto to Sibari. An INTERSOS team consisting of two doctors, three cultural mediators and a coordinator, began their tour to inform about the prevention of the coronavirus, people living in front of the Crotone station, people camped in the slum of Schiavonea, near Corigliano Calabro and those who live in small occupied homes in the area.


“The migrants we meet in the Crotone area are mostly seasonal workers in transit – explains the project coordinator, Pietro Mittica – who have left the reception circuit and are directed to other areas, including Calabria itself, in search of job opportunities. But people are now stuck here because of the lockdown.” “A situation – underlines Mittica – that makes our work more difficult because in many cases they do not know us, they have not had anything to do with us in the past years, while the medical and psychological assistance programs INTERSOS has carried on here was ongoing. The first step is therefore to gain their trust, then we start with the health part”.


The work in the areas of Corigliano-Rossano Calabro and in Sibaritide is not less difficult, because these are new areas of intervention for INTERSOS. Here the team is proceeding with evaluation activities to get to know the specific needs of the migrants present in the area. In all these territories, INTERSOS humanitarian workers are carrying out information sessions on prevention, distributing hygiene and protection kits and make medical visits to those who report symptoms.


These activities, which will last two months, are part of a wider program that involves, in addition to Calabria, also other southern regions: Puglia, Basilicata, Campania and Sicily with which agreement protocols are in place between institutions and the third sector for the development of interventions in the field of migration. The project is called “ – South protagonist in overcoming emergencies” and is financed by the European Community with the resources of the Asylum Migrants Integration Fund (Fami).