Melinda Willis

Melinda Willis (TAMPEP, Turin): At the time of her fellowship, Melinda was studying for a Master’s degree at the Fletcher School, Tufts University. She was the 2004-2005 co-editor of Praxis, the Fletcher Journal of International Development.

A Word on the Work

02 Jul

TAMPEP has a very individualized, project-oriented way of working. The right hand doesn’t always know what the left is doing. When I first arrived, I thought I was just experiencing the usual “new kid” issues compounded by the language differences. Later, I realized that a major reason I was having such a hard time seeing the big picture was because there were so many people to seek out to get it.

Getting all of the information on TAMPEP’s work was definitely time-consuming, and at times frustrating. After 5 weeks, I finally feel as though I have a good grasp on what is behind all of the office buzz. There are three current projects: ALNIMA, ANTARES and EQUAL LIFE.

ALNIMA works with irregular migrants from Albania, Morocco and Nigeria detained in Turin and its Province who are at risk of clandestine migration after they are deported, because they have few job prospects at home. ALNIMA provides vocational training and micro-credit to support their new enterprises and facilitate their integration into the labor markets of their home countries.

The ANTARES Project represents the activities that are perhaps most characteristic of TAMPEP. It involves the use of the Mobile Street Unit for outreach and education on health and legal issues for sex workers in Turin, as well as transitional housing and assistance in accessing the labor market. EQUAL LIFE seeks to create a best-practices model for assisting female victims of trafficking and facilitating their integration into labor markets and society, and to streamline the efforts of NGOs engaged in similar work.

Aside from these three, there is constant discussion of potential projects to undertake in the future. These discussions take place on Thursday mornings, when the entire staff comes together for their weekly meeting. This last week, we discussed the website as well as the need for TAMPEP to publish a report (their last was in 2002).

It’s clear that with so many irons in the fire, there is little time for anyone here to take on the added work of maintaining the site and newsletter I am charged with launching. So I am adding a grant proposal to my work plan to acquire funds to hire someone full-time to take on these tasks. The best case scenario is that in a few weeks, they will have at least a small presence on the Internet with more help on the way.

Posted By Melinda Willis

Posted Jul 2nd, 2004

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