Relief, Independence and Emergency Project Construction of a New Building for Disabled People in Bologna, Italy

Project location: Italy, Bologna
Project start date: December 2011 - Project end date: December 2012
Project number: 2011-55
Beneficiary: Associazione ARCA Comunità l’Arcobaleno onlus


The Association Arca Arcobaleno aims at helping the families of disabled people, welcoming for short periods or during holidays   disabled people in order to give some relief to their families who have to face daily difficulties with these "different" people.
Arca Arcobaleno also aims at making disabled people as independent as possible in their daily life.
Arca Arcobaleno provides shelter to disabled people who have to face emergency situation (illness, death of their parents, crisis not affordable by their family).
These goals will be reached constructing a new building which will perform the three different described functions.

The families will have some relief for short periods, leaving their disabled relatives in an efficient and valid structure. Disabled adults could thus attain autonomy finding a role in a suitable structure. Unexpected difficulties for the families can be faced, knowing that they can turn to an appropriate structure.

Arca is a well-known organization because since 1981 it has provided care for mentally disabled people in the community complex of Il Chicco a Ciampino (Rome) in self contained homes called "focolari". More recently (1997) a second Community complex known as L'Arcobaleno was  opened in Quarto Inferiore in Bologna.
"Focolari" are family sized units within the neighborhood supporting the concepts of community life. Voluntary carers and the mentally disabled share accommodation, meals and services. Occupational therapy is provided to help develop individual creativity. Over the years the occupational therapy activity has grown considerably. People entering the communities are those who either do not have a family or come from a family that is unable to care for them. Accomodation is provided for life. Associazione Arca Italia is part of the "Federazione Internazionale della Arche" (International Federation of the Arche).
ARCA Onlus is searching a substantial help for Associazione Arca Arcobaleno in Quarto Inferiore. This Community has to build a new house in order to answer the demand of help of the territory. The project has begun in 1997. The first" Focolare was opened in 2001, then in September 2002 a laboratory named "Formica" was opened. This laboratory wanted to give a place to work for disabled people living in the community and coming from outside.
In this center it is possible to find a place where people work all together in as friendly environment, knowing one each other and winning awareness in their ability and autonomy.
During 2007 a new house, Focolare "Il Grano" and a new laboratory "La Tartaruga" were opened.
All this was possible thanks to many contributors: Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna, Fondazione Del Monte, Fondazione F. Ballarini and V. Gemmati and Ministero degli Interni.
Arca works on three levels: professional, spiritual and community life.
The community life should sustain each person in his entirety, in his spiritual research, looking for relation with others persons.
The celebration of the value of the life helps to overcome the difficulties and pains faced by each one.
Arca has important connections with the Social Services of the region and new demands of assistance and help arrive to Arca. In particular, disabled people who have old parents or, worse, have lost parents ask Arca's help; adult disabled people, after finishing school, need a place where to work and need social relationships with people with the same needs.
Arca wants to offer these opportunities for disabled people and their families.

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