Alarmed by the worrying situation of unaccompanied migrant children, AMADE wished to mobilize for the benefit of these children, who arrive alone on the Sicilian coasts. These children, in great distress, have lost their parents during their stay in Libya or during the crossing of the Mediterranean. Some of the older ones, with no family ties, have decided to flee from war or poverty.

During the first half of 2015, more than 130,000 people arrived in Italy via the sea, and 2,000 people died during the crossing, including several hundred children. This situation is considered the worst tragedy known in the history of the Mediterranean.

With this in mind, AMADE has explored the possibility of implementing an integrated program that will provide a lasting solution for a number of the most vulnerable migrant children and ensure a future for them. To this end, three Italian partners (Terre des Hommes Italy, ASLA and the Marcegaglia Foundation) have been identified and committed to this initiative.

This integrated program covers four components:

- The psychosocial and psychological care of migrant minors hosted in 2 centers in Sicily (Ragusa province) in partnership with Terre des Hommes Italy;

- Support for the advocacy campaign "Destination Unknown" initiated by the International Federation of Terre des Hommes, through the production of a documentary;

- Legal assistance for these children, as well as the training of specialized lawyers in partnership with ASLA (Associated Law Firm Association);

- Long-term integration through access to education and employment via the awarding of scholarships in partnership with the Marcegaglia Foundation.

The first part of this program regarding the welcoming and the psychosocial and psychological care of migrant minors in 2 centers located in the province of Ragusa, implemented by Terre des Hommes Italy, is an integral part of the "FARO" programme; which is in itself an operational component of the international campaign "Destination Unknown" for the protection of children in situations of migration initiated by the International Federation of Terre des Hommes.

Completed activities

- Welcoming and orientation towards educational services;

- Debate and exchange groups;

- Italian language classes and fun language workshops;

- Analysis and evaluation of skills;

- Activities for babies and children: drawing, coloring, reading;

- Informal listening of minors speaking;

- Individual sessions and development of a personal roadmap;

- Psychological referrals (for emergencies and vulnerable cases);

- Supporting the local team to prevent risky situations;

- Management of vulnerable cases of minors;

- Advocacy support from TDH;

- Supporting the position of TDH in the field of migration;

- Complaining to the courts in the defense of the rights of migrants;

- Scholarship Program;

- Support for Italian institutions.

Results found

- Babies and children accompanied by their families in the transit center of Pozzallo were welcomed in a secure environment in which they are able to express themselves freely and reconnect with their emotions;

- 958 people were able to recognize and manage the emotional, behavioral and health problems of their children. They receive support in order to be able to express themselves in their new context;

- Unaccompanied migrant minors hosted in the Mediterranean "Espoir" Center were involved in the implementation of psychosocial activities;

- 86 most vulnerable/at-risk minors were identified by the Terre des Hommes team and their cases were correctly reported to the Director of the Center;

- The identification was mentioned in the minor's record, which also contains the data related to his/her state of health and legal status during his/her transfer to a protected community.


Psychosocial and psychological assistance for Unaccompanied Minors

  • Italy


  • Project status


  • Duration

    2015 - 2018

  • Funding

    120 000 €

  • Beneficiaries

    200 unaccompanied minors welcomed into 2 transit centres in Sicily

  • Partners

    Terre des Hommes Italy (TDH)

  • Objectives

    To contribute to the care and integration of Unaccompanied Minors arriving to Italy by sea.