The compass of our rights

The 88 days at farms. Dreams, hopes and delusions of the young Italians

88 days, few less than three months, are required to apply for a farm job to get the renewal of the second Working Holiday visa. Three months not necessary to have the opportunity to stay in the country for another year and to “live the dream”.

These are days of hard work, struggle, loneliness, sometimes of disquiet but also days that give new friendship, a great self-confidence and a good time to discover yourself.

A lot of young Italian people therefore, decide to choose working at the farm in one of the rural and remote areas of Australia, before the expiry of the first Working Holiday visa.

Italy is the third European country that uses the second Working holiday Visa, with 26.2% of young people. This is what was in the report:“88 giorni nelle farm australiane. Viaggio tra sogni, speranze e pensieri dei giovani italiani in Australia”, fulfill by Fondazione Migrantes, CEI’s Pastoral entity.

The report is the result of ten months of research and is the testimony of life experience for some young Italians, that shows and suggests, the reason why young people choose to work at a farm, but also what they think and expect from the future and from Australia.

The Italian economic crisis contributed to the increase of the presence of young Italian people with a temporary visa from 18 to 30 years old, that they see in Australia. If the “Bel Paese”, is synonymous for lack of work, lack of meritocracy and dissatisfaction, Australia has become rightly or wrongly, a place for opportunities, possibilities, happiness and hope. For this reason the 24 months of a Working Holiday Visa is often the start of a journey with no return.

There are a lot of young people who choose to ask for a student visa, but most of them, the bravest prefer to do the famous “88 days.”It is a classic farm job, changing in accordance to the rural zone and seasons: to pick up, to grow and to package the fruits, to prune, to fish and to hunt the pearls.

There is also the possibility to work in the mines and construction fields. All the specific information are on the Australian Government website

It is a great “fatica” and a test of courage. At times in these farms, there are not all the comforts, which most Italians are use to and often the hygienic conditions are below expectations.

A lot of people finish the 88 days surprised and happy, because, despite all the hard work, they reached the objective and they are able to keep on living the dream. Some of them unfortunately, leave because they are not ready to do the hard country life.

The life on the farm is an essential step and a great challenge that helps today’s youth to prove and rediscover themselves and their ability to adapt, but also to learn a job that no one would ever expect to do.

For the first time, the Italian youth, not long ago called “bamboccioni”, (“big babies”) are called to rely solely on themselves, to face the difficulties and be strong enough alone, so far from the family’s protection.

Australia is also: sweat, toil and effort in exchange for a new visa and a new opportunity. It is on us how to handle the game.

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