Project G.I.O.I.A.

Project G.I.O.I.A.

The “Project G.I.O.I.A.,” ( JOY in English and acronym for YOUTH COMMITMENT EMPLOYMENT INCLUSION HOSPITALITY ) promoted and overseen by the Embassy of the Order of Malta to the Holy See, aims to foster independence and vocational training for young people with disabilities.

The project has been developed together with the Diversa Arte Social Cooperative, which has many years of experience in the field. It targets multiple goals: addressing young disabled individuals’ desire for autonomy, reducing the burden on families by fostering greater independence for participants, and easing their integration into the workforce. From January, daytime activities have already started in a provisional location, and once renovations in the four apartments will be completed the participants will be able to stay at the Center for short periods like one or two weekends per month, gradually increasing to 10 consecutive days per month, always pursuing their vocational training for a future job in the hotel sector.

The apartments, owned by the Grand Priory of Rome of the Order of Malta, are located on Via Ostiense and have been generously loaned for ten years to the project, three of them for free and the fourth one rented. They are currently undergoing a thorough renovation for accessibility adaptations. Two of these apartments will serve as the project’s headquarters, and the other two will be converted into short rent apartments ( “Airbnb” ) and will be managed by the participants under the supervision of tutors. They will also be equipped to accommodate families with a wheelchair user. Learning to manage all aspects of these rented apartments is the focus of the training process, enabling future employment in the tourism and hospitality industry.
Once they will have acquired the necessary skills, the youths will be supported in finding internships and, hopefully, employment in Rome’s hotels or similar facilities. Their entry into the workforce, after about 2-3 years of training from the beginning of the project ( October 2024 ) will allow new participants to enter the project , creating a training hub and therefore gradually increasing the number of young disabled individuals supported by the project.

Once operational, the project expects to rely on the collaboration of the Youth Group of the Rome Delegation of the Order of Malta, volunteers from CISOM, and the advice and support of the healthcare services of ACISMOM (Association of the Italian Knights of the Order of Malta).

The Project G.I.O.I.A. relies entirely on the generous support of some Italian and North American sponsors, who have provided the funds for the ongoing renovations and the launch of initial activities. Fundraising continues in order to ensure the project’s sustainability and hopefully growth in the number of young disabled participants supported in the future.

For further information or donations, please contact the Secretariat of the Embassy: