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Not far from Rome, Italy, immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa set up their own cooperative in 2012 to support themselves.

© Barikama

(17 June 2020) - They were undocumented migrants, exploited in agricultural cooperatives, especially near Rosarno where in 2010 a revolt of these workers broke out after a racist attack against one of them. Today, the Barikama cooperative produces organic yoghurt and vegetables. Sales allow each cooperator to receive a salary.

Sheikh, 34 years old, is one of the founders of the cooperative. Born in Senegal, he arrived in Italy in 2007. "Before creating the cooperative, we were just doing self-production of yoghurts in the social centre that housed us in Rome, called Ex-Snia. In 2012, we won a competition for young entrepreneurs and it was with this prize that we created the cooperative. Today we also harvest vegetables, we sell in ten markets and to more than 30 solidarity buying groups in Rome and elsewhere in Italy."

All the members of the cooperative receive the same salary: "2019 was a good year. On average everyone received €500 per month, €700 for the last months of the year. We had no losses!"

In addition, the cooperative offers a work contract that allows refugees to apply for a residence permit. (MEDIAPART)

More information (IT)