Storytelling, coding, soft skills, digital journalism: Project Digital Welcome continues at the Phyrtual Innovation Gym inRome with new tools and competences.

Participants enjoyed a module on digital journalism with Rosy D’Elia addressing a range of issues, from how facts become news 2.0 to how to organise an interview outline to creating a blog and selecting who to interview.

During ten hours, the students worked like a true news desk and created the Welcome Mondo Blog. Rosy could not resist the temptation to report, as well as instruct, and produced the story of Famaga.

Learning is the Most Precious Opportunity: Project Digital Welcome and Famaga’s Story

“I always come to the course, always.” The courses organised by Project Digital Welcome began in April and Famaga has never missed a single lesson. He is one of the 120 young individuals (aged 16-30) who are participating in the Welcome Programme implemented simultaneously in Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain.

“I like everything that I’m learning here. Learning is important to me, because I wasn’t able to study much in the Ivory Coast.” The 60-hour programme is designed to improve computer and language skills, as well as transversal competences such as creative thinking and problem-solving.

Famaga participated in the educational activities organised by the Fondazione Mondo Digitale, one of the Italian project partners, and held at the Phyrtual Innovation Gym. In class, Famaga is silent. He listens and observes to absorb as much as possible. Moreover, he needs to concentrate as his Italian is not perfect, yet.

He has spent the last two and a half of his twenty-six years in Italy. “When I arrived in Lampedusa, I thought: I’ll go to a language centre to learn Italian and other skills. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out like that. Nothing ever happened at the centre where I was hosted. We didn’t even study Italian. The days were long and boring.” And without objectives, the days are endless. “However, 8 months ago, I arrived at another centre in Rome and things changed. I started going to school, for example, and it was fantastic.”

Famaga reached Italy through one of the many routes that traverse Africa and the Mediterranean: through the desert, Libya and the sea. “You don’t fear the journey, although the sea often means death. Libya is suffering, but the boats are potentially deadly.” Nonetheless, it is the better alternative.” Famaga summarises the hardships of the journey. Now, he fears the new political climate that has come into being. He is still in the limbo of asylum seekers, waiting for an answer. “I’m afraid. If they send me back, I will have lost three years. Everything.”

In the meantime, Famaga is looking ahead and taking advantage of opportunities for his future,” such as Project Digital Welcome. “My three-year-old daughter is still in the Ivory Coast. I hope she will one day become a teacher or doctor. I have understood that to improve one’s life it is necessary to study.”

Learning, in his words, is the most precious resource. At the end of the programme, Famaga and other participants will teach other foreign citizens in peer-to-peer mode. And that’s why he never misses a day. “It’s important for me to help others like me with my new knowledge.”