Home help: the support project for isolated mountain communities in Italy and France


Smart Regions is working on a European project that emerged during the COVID-19 crisis by providing vital medical and social support to the sick and isolated in the Italian regions of Aosta and the Tarentaise.

The clock is ticking for the mountainous regions of Europe. Demographic changes due to economic migration and declining birth rates mean that many hillside cities are facing a slowdown. But an EU project in the Italian region of Aosta Valley appeared during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative aims to protect vulnerable people living in mountain communities by providing them with health care and social services.

At the height of the epidemic, nurses went from house to house to test and reassure patients. Valentina was one of them. In 2018, she left a permanent job in the UK to join the so-called MisMi project.

“What particularly impressed me about MisMI was its innovative approach to chronic care: keeping people in their families, in their communities and at home,” says Valentina.

MisMi’s total budget is slightly more than 1.8 million euros, of which 1.5 million comes from the cohesion policy of the European Union. It is estimated that almost 5,000 people have already benefited directly.

In addition to covering the Italian region of the Aosta Valley, the project also includes the Tarentaise in the French Alps. Anna coordinates the cross-border project. For her, living in the mountains does not necessarily mean isolation.

“MisMi was born out of a real need. Living in the mountains does not have to mean being isolated or alone. This is a problem, especially for those with chronic illnesses or who are socially vulnerable and who have no one to support them or spend time with them. , ” she says.

Aspect social

In addition to providing medical care, the MisMi project is a social force for good. Mountain hiking is one of its most popular activities. Over six hundred people took advantage of the walks which resumed in June.

Aida is a guide on walks: “The role of the facilitator in this context is very important because it promotes interaction between participants, helps to collect and detect the needs they have. Another important thing is that we are also able to find formal and informal resources within the group. ”

A COVID survivor, Claudio fought the virus for more than six weeks. For the 67 year olds, the walks have taken on a different dimension.

“Each day that I receive now is an extra day of life. It is a day that I enjoy, a day more beautiful than the others. Before the rain bothered me, now it tells me that I lived another day, ”says Claudio.


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