DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT
The Valore Lavoro project aimed at improving and facilitating the labour integration of Roma through their involvement in decision-making processes. It was articulated in different but integrated actions: 1) vocational training; 2) promotion and support of already existing working activities (i.e. cooperatives); 3) hiring of Roma as employees; 4) encouragement of self-employment; 5) improvement of Roma autonomy in accessing public services (empowerment); 6) promotion of the capability and sensitivity of public services in assessing and meeting Roma-specific needs.
The project promoted five initiatives in the Lombardy Region: 1) “Progetto stireria e piccola sartoria” (Project Small tailoring and ironing – led by Caritas Ambrosiana, a charity organisation), implemented in the cities of Milan and Rho. It activated a programme of vocational training addressed to Romani women who, at the end of the training programme, were employed (with work fellowships) in a dressmaking workshop and laundry opened in downtown Milan; 2) similarly “I lavori artigianali delle donne e dei giovani rom e sinti” (Project Handicrafts of women and young Roma and Sinti – led by Opera Nomadi Milano, a Roma association) focused on improving Romani women’s capacities in the field of dressmaking; 3) the third initiative sustained the ongoing activities of Cooperativa IES (led by Casa della Carità, a charity), which employs Romani men in activities of pallet production and assemblage; 4) “Mengro Labatarpe” (Our Work – led by Sucar Drom, a Sinti association) planned for professional training of Romani women and men towards job integration supported by grants and the establishment of a cooperative company for the gathering and sale of iron materials; 5) vocational training of a group of young Roma through the support of Comunità di Sant’Egidio, a charity, and ISMU Foundation, the project leader.
 The project “Valore Lavoro. Percorsi di inserimento lavorativo per Rom e Sinti” started in May 2008 and concluded in November 2010. It was financed by the Ministry of Politics and Social Solidarity, promoted by the Lombardy Region Family, Social Solidarity and Voluntary Sector Department and coordinated by Fondazione ISMU and Regional Observatory for Integration and Multiethnicity of Lombardy (ORIM), with the support and participation of five private charities, associations and social cooperatives: Caritas, Casa della Carità – Cooperativa IES, Comunità di Sant’Egidio, Opera Nomadi and Sucar Drom.
 It is important to stress that each project’s action was part of a broader initiative, which included paths towards housing and school integration.
PPRESENTATION OF RESULTS
The results of the project have been presented at the international conference
2nd International Multidisciplinary Conference on Political and Civic Participation, University of Surrey, Surrey, UK, 16-17 Aprile 2012.
Paper: F. Marcaletti, V. Riniolo, Active participation of Roma minorities. An experience of participatory planning in a local Italian context
1) Marcaletti F. (2010), Valore Lavoro: integrazione e inserimento lavorativo di rom e sinti, Fondazione Ismu, Regione Lombardia, Osservatorio Regionale per l’integrazione e la multietnicità, Milano. (isbn: 978-88-6447-0795)
2) F. Marcaletti, V. Riniolo, A Partecipatory Governance Model Towards the Inclusion of Ethnic Minorities. An Action Research Experience in Italy, in “Revue Interventions Economiques”.
3) V. Riniolo, F. Marcaletti, Active Participation of Roma: An Experience of Participatory Planning Towards Labour Integration, in “ERRC”
4) Marcaletti F., S. Pozzi S. & V. Riniolo (2011), Percorsi di empowerment e integrazione lavorativa di Rom e Sinti: l’esperienza del progetto Valore Lavoro, in “Autonomie Locali e Servizi Sociali”, n. 2, pp. 287-300.