In 2022, there were more than 100 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, including over 6 million Afghans. They have fled their homes for safety, security and opportunity. To support these individuals and help lift them out of crisis, the Italian Deloitte Foundation is expanding its on-going collaboration with Pangea, an Italian non-profit organisation that focuses on positively impacting the lives of women and their families.
Deloitte Italy volunteers are helping to deliver a targeted programme that empowers female refugees with skills-building courses and language classes alongside mentorship and cultural integration. Each woman who participates is helped to overcome barriers to employment and find opportunity in their new community.
The relationship between the Italian Deloitte Foundation and Pangea has been growing over the years. The two organisations started working together on a micro-credit project in Kabul, which was a development project that created awareness of women’s rights and enabled them to find work. Silvia Redigolo, Pangea’s head of fundraising and communications, says that this project supported women to become “aware of their rights and enabled them to work.” When the Taliban resurged in 2021 and women’s rights were curtailed, the collaboration expanded to support women from Afghanistan whose work and advocacy put them at risk. Now, the Italian Deloitte Foundation and Pangea are providing an opportunity for these women and their families to relocate to Italy in search of safety.
“… this project supported women to become “aware of their rights and enabled them to work.”
– Silvia Redigolo, Pangea’s head of fundraising and communications.
As the Deloitte Italy Foundation Communications Leader, Simona Silvestri has a fundamental role in developing and fostering a culture of social responsibility and sustainability in Deloitte Italy. Working closely with the President and the Operational Director of the Italian Deloitte Foundation on one side and collaborating with the leadership and people of all business and areas on the other, she plays a critical role in Deloitte’s priority to address some of the biggest challenges faced by our communities.
To expand access to education opportunities for young people in conditions of cultural, financial and social disadvantage. Inspired to build a legacy of impact, Simona seized the opportunity to collaborate with Pangea to leverage Deloitte’s key strengths and offer the support of Deloitte Italy people. Through corporate volunteering to deliver training modules, career coaching, and language workshops, Simona says that “involving our people is a top priority because this initiative belongs to each of us.”
“… seeing how people can change their lives from scratch proves that we’re doing good things and following the right goals. It gives me a real sense of purpose.”
– Simona Silvestri, Deloitte Italy Foundation Communications Leader
Those efforts contribute to a positive impact that goes beyond a dollar amount. “The situation of the women, children and families who have arrived in Italy as refugees is not easy,” Simona shares, “but seeing how people can change their lives from scratch proves that we’re doing good things and following the right goals. It gives me a real sense of purpose.” Simona was able to meet the women who benefitted from the collaboration and see the impact that the team contributed to first-hand. For her, witnessing each refugee’s determination and helping them build the skills needed to succeed has given her even more optimism for the future.
While navigating a new culture and learning another language in the aftermath of change is challenging, Simona and Silvia are confident that Nazanin and the rest of Pangea’s participants will succeed at what they set out to do and they will build a brighter future in Italy.