From 25 to 28 September 2023, the Final Meeting of “Rural Migrantour. Paths of Recovery”, the Erasmus+ programme that for the first time has brought the Migrantour network to experience its intercultural routes in small villages, rural and mountain areas, islands and border territories, took place in Camini.
The project lasted two years and went through the great changes of this period: we started the project activities during the Covid-19 pandemic, we suffered for the outbreak of war in Ukraine and the consequent migration of so many people fleeing the conflict, we were confronted with the increasingly evident climatic changes and the environmental crisis that precisely in rural and mountainous areas shows its most evident effects.
In spite of all the difficulties and limitations of the project, the Rural Migrantour partners have completed with great commitment the creation of new intercultural itineraries that clearly show how mobility and migration constitute an imprescribable element of the history not only of big cities, but of every European territory. Yesterday’s and today’s migrations have transformed and enriched the cultural heritage of all places involved in the Erasmus+ programme: Svilengrad in Bulgaria, Kostanjevica na Krki in Slovenia, Kythira in Greece, Borgata Paraloup and Camini in Italy.
Camini, a small Calabrian village on the Ionian coast, hosted the project’s final event. Camini is a truly extraordinary place that strongly impressed all the project partners. Here, in fact, for many years now the Jungi Mundu cooperative has been running a project for the social, cultural and economic recovery of the village by welcoming new citizens, migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. Until some time ago depopulated by emigration, the village has thus come back to life: the local school has returned to having pupils, new businesses and new services have been opened for residents, many houses that were in ruins have been restored and have become a kind of “widespread hotel” for tourists and visitors who are arriving in ever greater numbers. And above all, hundreds of people who have arrived in Italy in search of a new life have indeed found it in the narrow streets of the village, in an atmosphere of hospitality, respect and brotherhood.
As always, at the heart of the Migrantour project are the intercultural companions. In Camini, our biggest thanks and good luck therefore go to Zakaria and Douaa, who accompanied us during the Final Meeting to discover Camini, starting from their experience of daily-life in the village and the story of what binds them to the community.
“Rural Migrantour. Paths of Recovery” is a project funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme led by the NGO Terra Vera (Slovenia) and implemented in Italy by Viaggi Solidali, Fondazione Nuto Revelli, the Jungi Mundu Cooperative and FIERI, in Greece by Paths of Greece, in Bulgaria by LAG Svilegrad and in the Netherlands by Pocket Stories.