“Welcome, inclusion” è per tutti

“Welcome, inclusion” è il titolo della campagna sulla disabilità che HRYO, Human Rights Youth Organization, lancia da Palermo chiamando a raccolta le energie buone della società per diffondere prassi positive. E per farlo utilizza un linguaggio diverso da quello canonico: il fumetto coniugato al virtuale. Un modo per intercettare vecchie e nuove generazioni. Dal 15 novembre al 3 dicembre – dal 1981 celebrata come la Giornata internazionale delle persone con disabilità – sui canali social dell’organizzazione umanitaria verranno pubblicate le illustrazioni realizzate da Ester Cardella (classe ’92, Ester Cardella è molto conosciuta ed è apprezzata per il suo stile a tema erotico e dark). La campagna sociale di HRYO ha ricevuto la collaborazione della FIRST (Federazione Italiana Rete Sostegno e Tutela) e del comitato “Siamo handicappati no cretini”, di Arci Tavola Tonda e di Raizes Teatro.

Le illustrazioni svelano dieci storie diverse. La prima vignetta comparirà domani mattina, 16 novembre, sui canali social di HRYO. Si parla di malattie. Se ne parla perché fanno parte della vita e non si dovrebbe finire col credere di essere “diversi” solo perché malati, se ne parla come delle esperienze che si vivono, delle gioie e dei dolori. Ma in realtà quello che da alcuni viene visto come una diminuzione del valore complessivo della persona è solo un altro dei suoi dati caratteristici, come gli occhi neri o la calvizie. La campagna sociale di HRYO mira a sottolineare che il ripudio del diverso, la mancata considerazione che nelle qualità immanenti dell’essere umano c’è proprio la bellezza della diversità siano i drammi della questione.  Le illustrazioni man mano si aggiungono ad una mostra virtuale che, dal 3 dicembre, si svelerà pienamente al pubblico anche in uno spazio fisico, ai Cantieri Culturali della Zisa.

“Il punto è quello che un malato, un ‘non valido’ se vi piace di più, non è, al contrario di quanto si vorrebbe far credere, una mera categoria: è prima di tutto un essere umano e come tale deve essere considerato – dice il direttore di HRYO, Marco Farina -. Per questo essere umano tutto sarebbe più facile se i ‘sani’, i ‘validi’, quando lo vedono attaccato a un device di supporto, o brancolare sperduto senza punti di riferimento perché cieco, o in preda a raptus, o teso ad acchiappare un ricordo che non c’è più non apparissero disorientati e ansiosi di rassicurare sé stessi, misurando invece la percezione della diversità. C’è infine un equivoco di fondo, i diversabili non sono tutti migliori o peggiori, possono essere come i cosiddetti abili anche antipatici, cattivi, di malumore. C’è anche un testimonial per la nostra campagna, che è lo scrittore e blogger Giovanni Cupidi, un’anima bella e un cervello geniale che ha aderito immediatamente e ci ha aiutati ad individuare opacità e pregiudizi.”

Giovanni Cupidi, 44 anni, dall’età di 13 è affetto da grave tetraplegia spinale. Nonostante le difficoltà dovute alla patologia ho conseguito la Laurea in Scienze Statistiche ed Economiche e successivamente il Dottorato di Ricerca in Statistica Applicata presso l’Università degli Studi di Palermo. Da aprile 2014 ricopre la carica di vicepresidente della associazione Insieme per l’Autismo ONLUS e da aprile 2018 è vicepresidente del Comitato Siamo Handicappati No Cretini. A luglio è stato nominato vicepresidente Area Sud della FIRST. 

Giovanni Cupidi, vicepresidente del Comitato Siamo Handicappati No Cretini

“Quando sono stato contattato DA HRYO per questo progetto in occasione della giornata internazionale delle persone con disabilità l’ho trovato subito interessante e anche diverso dalle solite iniziative messe in campo in questi anni – afferma Giovanni Cupidi -. Usare l’arte per rappresentare e raccontare la realtà, e in questo caso specifico l’inclusione delle persone con disabilità nella nostra società, mi è parso potesse essere più efficace di tante parole usate fin troppo e che a volte lasciano il tempo che trovano. Poi, nel mio piccolo e a mio modo, non certo bene come l’artista scelta per questa mostra, utilizzo il disegno come ulteriore forma di comunicazione e quindi mi sono sentito ulteriormente a mio agio nel dare il mio contributo. Oggi – prosegue Cupidi – è ancora e più che mai necessario parlare di disabilità e farlo nella maniera più opportuna, e soprattutto dei temi più importanti. In questi anni si è discusso molto di assistenza domiciliare e non da garantire alle persone con disabilità, specialmente quelle con patologie più gravi, e sebbene questo sia un tema sempre all’ordine del giorno, perché parliamo di esigenze primarie,  non è assolutamente sufficiente e non rispecchia quelle che sono tutte le necessità reali. Temi come quelli del lavoro, ad esempio, o della mobilità dentro e fuori le nostre città,  o ancora della sessualità e della affettività,  sono esigenze legate alla cosiddetta “vita indipendente” di cui però spesso se ne fa un uso limitato e limitativo, non possono più non essere presi in considerazione. Ecco perché, avendo potuto vedere le tavole realizzate da Ester Cardella, ho potuto scorgere alcuni di quei temi di cui invece bisogna parlare e mettere a disposizione nuove idee e riconoscere diritti.”

“E’ stato bellissimo per me realizzare le illustrazioni per questa campagna – dice Cardella -. I temi che abbiamo affrontato sono spesso dei tabù, e troppo spesso si dice che alcune persone “non possono fare”. Io credo che la volontà sia uno dei motori più importanti della vita, e queste storie vogliono dimostrarlo”.

All the time in the world, will never be enough

There comes a time for everything, and in October it was time for the final meeting of IRETI – “Empowering women and strengthening socioeconomic integration”. Many hours have been spent together planning, implementing and finalizing this project. After two years of collaboration between the associations HRYO (Italy), AUR (Romania), Ubele (The UK) and BB&R (Spain),we were ready to present the results and discuss the findings with local entities in Salamanca. We give a big thanks to all the entities that let us come and share the project and the IRETI results!That includes the USAL Radio, the Salamanca City Council, Entreculturas Salamanca and the Europe direct Salamanca.

IRETI has been mentioned many times in HRYO’s social media, but I will again mention the main topic of the project as I find it incredibly important to raise awareness on. The word itself means “hope” in Yoruba (Nigerian language), and with the increasing number of Nigerian women being trafficked to Europe over the recent years there is a need to help these women from violence and exploitation,to empower them andregain their deprived freedom. Working towards reducing, and eliminating, the extent of human trafficking is not a taskwhere I see an end, everyday new people are being trapped and tricked into this life.

Our first activity of these days took place at the Radio station of Salamanca University, where we spent some time discussing the project process, our thoughts on the execution, and our reflections of the impact it has had on the participants of the mobilities. Overall the IRETI project activities have aimed to bring together representatives, professionals and people with experience working with victims of human trafficking, or individuals who survived human trafficking. Through different blended mobilities we have had the opportunity to discuss, share and exchange experiences, practices and information from the different participants that have created intercultural bonds and relationships. And as one of the participants from these mobilities, I can just say that I plan to keep in touch with the people I have met from these meetings.

During the final meeting we also held a presentation at the University library of Salamanca, where we presented the results of the project, which includes the IRETI booklet, toolkit and website. The information and feedback that has been given during the blended mobilities and two months internships, have been the base knowledge for the creation and development of these.

  • The IRETI booklet is a gathering of Good Practices from each of the partner countries. In the booklet you can find 4-5 description of local associations who, in some way, work with women and empowerment, and the description of services they offer.
  • The toolkit includes identified aspects when it comes to communication and working with victims of human trafficking, that can be important for professionals to consider when approaching women in vulnerable situations.
  • At last there is the IRETI website (https://ireti.org/) that is created to be useful for people who seek help or in general want more information on the subject of human trafficking. There are also some emergency contact information, especially connected to the partner countries and the cities (Palermo, Bucharest, London and Salamanca).

We hope that professionals and others who are involved with work connected to identifying and empowering victims of human trafficking and domestic violence can use these elements as sources of inspiration and information to increase the quality of work, to help most people in the best way. The IRETI project has in addition to these results connected a lot of people with the same passion, and the same motivation to fight against the global issue of human trafficking. The way to fight against a global issue is to collaborate on a global level.

“Unity is strength, division is weakness.”

“Unity is strength, division is weakness.”– Swahili Proverb 

What is the biggest challenge you see in the worldtoday?

People seem to be more divided than united in the understanding of most topics on the agenda today (climate change, migration, health care etc….).When following the media and the inventive comment sections of online platforms, it makes it difficult to believe thatall of us couldever see eye to eye on anything.

The world has many challenges, but there is one problem that I believe everybody should recognize as an issue, just based on the fact that we are all human beings. The specific issue I am pointing to is the international industry of trafficking humans, that threatens the bodily autonomy and removes the human right to freedom for millions of our world citizens.What I want to convey further is that human trafficking is not a problem that only affects one country, or one type of people, but is an industry that works across borders. Therefore, we must cooperate across borders.

Cooperation can take many forms but sharing information and open communication are two important elements. On the 16th of September 2019 we were gathered in Salamanca, through the IRETI blended mobility, on a one-week work schedule, where the purpose was to learn from each other and create collaborations across nationalities. There were representatives from the four partner countries (Italy, Romania, Spain and the UK), that in one way or another was involved with, had experience or was connected to the topic of human trafficking. Being gathered from different backgrounds opened many eyes to different methods and approaches when working with women in vulnerable situations.

During our week in Salamanca we workedtogether andlived in the same complex, to have both the formal and the informal dimension of a partnership. We covered many aspects of working with victims of human trafficking, focusing on sexually exploited women. Some of the topics were communication,intercultural situations, cultural understanding, politics and entrepreneurship. The meetings and discussions were quite interesting and educational, and I will point out two topics that I found enlightening.

The first one is about female entrepreneurship, and developing a business, both connected to discussing the possibility of creating a social enterprise to help women, and as a way for previous victims to start a business of their own. One of the best ways to create independence and improvingan individual’s situation is through creating and developingskills that can give that person an opportunity to earn money, become independent and strengthening the social integration. It is all about creating new opportunities and showing that person that you have manychoices in life, prostitution should not be one of them.

A different conversation that I found very insightful was connected to an aspect of human trafficking that I was not very aware of.It was a discussion about how politics and policies can affect the human trafficking situation. Many politicians in Europe today express their disapprovalagainst the number of migrants knocking on their border, and changing policies is one way to make it harder for people to gain residence, jobs and other important aspects that are important to living in a country. As it gets harder for desperate people to find legal ways to enter Europe or permission to stay in the country, the more desperate people get. Desperation leads to many things but most of all it leads to vulnerability.When people are vulnerable it is easy to for others to give them promises and take advantage of their situation.

This are some of the topics we discussed, and a lot of the time we also spent talking about and developing the final results of the IRETI project. This will be more covered in the final meeting. All in all, I found the week in Salamanca very insightful and enlightening, and it is a good example of how collaboration across cultures, and borders is a key factor to fight this global problem. The human traffickers manage to work together, why shouldn’t we?[:en]

Züleyha Özcan with Derin: a success story enhanced by the project Pandora

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Züleyha is an engineer who founded an HVAC company in Ankara 14 years ago. She is part of a small percentage of women at the head of engineering companies in Turkey. She had desired to be an engineer since she was a child, but the road that took her to Derin was not an easy one. After graduation she started working in the private sector until she had her first child. “I was the only woman in that environment, which did not make things easy for me. As soon as I had my first child, mobbing began from other colleagues and superiors because they thought I could not possibly combine work and family life. So I decided to quit and establish my own company.”, she says with a proud look in her office in the district of Cancaya in central Ankara. Züleyha created her own company without any financial assistance from the State, and thinks that the scarcity of economic support put in place for especially women entrepreneurs is one of the major difficulties to overcome. “You all too often must create your own business without the relief of forms of public or private support schemes. This is especially true in the case of schemes for maternity.”, she explains.

In her opinion, gender discrimination means today that women have lower opportunities than men, even when they are at the same professional level. She wishes that both maternity and paternity leave could be longer in Turkey, in order to allow women entrepreneurs and their husband to combine work and family life more easily. “We made progress in the last fifty years of course, but women still need to be given more opportunities if we have to reach a state of true equality. Beginning with salaries.”, she says. The efforts she had to make over this past fourteen years though made her proud of what she built on her own: A strong team of both men and women, which she supervises and guides, helping each others and working together towards a common goal.

 

For more information: http://www.derinmuhendislik.com.tr/[:]