UNIncontro Interculturale a Firenze - ''Anelli Mancanti'' - (2015 - English Version)
“Anelli Mancanti” is an intercultural center that aims to bring young Italians and immigrants together. It was founded in Florence in 1997 to fill institutional gaps concerning integration and hospitality and to strive for a more equal and intercultural society. First founded as a “non-recognised recreational association”, Anelli Mancanti has been mostly involved with the organization of theater events and Italian language courses for immigrants; however, the association has grown and it has diversified its range of action which include other activities and services.
To offer complementary services that are often lacking in public institutions, Anelli Mancanti, thanks to the professionality of its volunteers, has opened three reception areas to help immigrants living in the territory solve everyday problems. The association, situated at via Palazzuolo 8, Florence, is active three days a week: on Monday, it provides medical assistance; on Tuesday and Friday, housing services and, thanks to the work of volunteer lawyers, solutions to legal problems that may regard immigrants (permissions, accompaniment to public offices, and the like).
Anelli Mancanti, eighteen years working for integration and reception of the immigrants
The main activities, however, rotate around the Italian language courses, which have proven to be very successful thanks to the modern teaching methods, based on a communicative approach which is not solely limited to the learning of grammar, but deals with the communication and solution of everyday problems which the students need to face in their new cultural reality. The teaching staff, prepared in language education, combine typical elements of language learning with cultural studies in order to help the students participate in Italian life and to understand the problems that result from the intermingling of different cultures. In order to promote intercultural communications, the centre encourages the teaching of bidirectional linguistics, offering immigrants the opportunity to hold classes in their mother tongue.
Like all volunteer associations, Anelli Mancanti can only expand with the help of others: by word of mouth, but also with the use of internet. The association has, in fact, grown considerably thanks to its Facebook page and web site. It is through these two channels, in fact, that the events are publicized with the aim of promoting the association, but also campaigning for a better society, more socially conscious and intercultural, which can welcome and encourage cultural differences. To this end, Piazza Tasso recently hosted an event, called “Todos Bomber”, which was organized by the association in collaboration with Uisp Comitato di Firenze and Uisp solidarietà. Here, we had the opportunity to interview Shafiq, a young man from Bangladesh who, after benefiting from the services of the association, then decided to collaborate, like many of those who have benefitted from the services of Anelli Mancanti often do.
"Todos Bomber", an event for integration in Piazza Tasso with Anelli Mancanti
One of the most important events, and one which sees the greatest number of visitors, also because it is held in collaboration with the city of Florence, is the feast of San Paolino, organized in one of the most cosmopolitan areas of the city, just a few steps from via Palazzuolo. Numerous activities –concerts, plays and food festivals - animate the event, which lasts two days and is held once a year in the first week in July. Here, different communities of immigrants share their cultural wealth and customs with others.