Support to 250 Families of the Centre Nando Peretti Roma Sud (formerly Laurentino 38) Housing Estate of Rome

Project location: ITALY, Rome
Project start date: June 2003 - Project end date: This project covers various years
Project number: 2003-34
Beneficiary: SMOM


Year 2011 ended with continued volunteer activity in the Laurentino 38 Centre and the Fonte Meravigliosa branch. The aim is to help the neediest individuals overcome the difficult circumstances they face daily. Charitable activities are carried out in the Parishes of San Mauro Abate and Santa Giovanna Antida, and significant support comes from the Parish Priests and their assistants, above all in ensuring that delivery and dialogue take place without conflict or upsets among the beneficiaries; there has been an improvement in the interaction with the clergy who follow the Order's contribution to these local bodies.

Throughout 2011 the Delegation has also been committed to showing how close it is to the beneficiaries by providing them with what may be defined as improvements in their quality of life. 2011 also saw the establishment of the new Centro di Aiuto alla Vita (CAV) at Roma Ardeatino, which was inaugurated last December 11th. Each quarter of the year saw assistance being given to about fifty mothers, most of them from Peru, followed (in descending proportion) by Italy, Romania, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Ecuador, Cameroon and Ethiopia. A total of 60 children were welcomed in the Centre, of which eleven are under the age of 1, eleven older than 1, and the others between 2 and 3 years old.

In the period between June 13 and July 23 the Centro Estivo (Summer Centre) was active. This is the most important of the Foundation's projects, and this year saw more than seventy children aged 4 to 12 involved, fostered as usual by adult former participants in the Foundation's initial projects. On the one hand, these "animatori" seek to continue sharing the Centre's joyous atmosphere; on the other, they wish to give concrete evidence of the moral and intellectual growth represented by such enterprises for children in morally risk-laden levels of society. Emblematic, in this respect, was what happened during World Youth Day, which took place last year in Madrid, on August 19 and 20. The Parish of San Mauro Abate made a notable commitment so as to enable a number of young people to take part. About one hundred were involved, many of them joining those of a similar age thanks to the help of the Centro Nando Peretti Laurentino 38, which allowed them to subscribe at a reduced rate.

As usual, the Campo Estivo (Summer Camp) was held in the mountains, this year at Prati di Tivo, in the Province of Teramo, between July 22 and 26. Youngsters between 14 and 17 were joined by adults from supporting families, making a total of over 90 people. The boys and girls were trained to work in groups and share team spirit. As always the aims of bringing help to the needy continued during the fourth quarter of 2011 through actively listening to individuals. This involved not only the Centre's director Letizia Giovanelli but also two volunteers who are experts in judicial and administrative matters, who met those who needed advice or opinions regarding specific personal or family questions.

Advice was offered in the following areas:

- medical-legal: for people who came to the Centre to seek information on how to identify various types of acquired disability, giving accounts of their problems, displaying health documents, explaining their reasons and urging action from the relevant facilities;

- compensation: for those who suffered damage, mostly material, inflicted by others, sometimes on public transport. In these cases, volunteers' special focus was to verify that the injured individual was adequately legally assisted, and in some cases (at the request of the person involved) to contact legal representatives for information on how to proceed;

- judicial and administrative: dealing with family problems where the presence of children with various forms of addiction has led to detention or other forms of restriction of personal freedom. Unfortunately, detention of children is typically associated with older parents, unemployment, or the indigence of other children. In these cases volunteers intervene solely to establish a clear account of events and express opinions and advice on how to resolve such problems, so that those involved can understand the reasons behind a form of justice that sometimes seems to function best with the weaker strata of humanity. This form of moral and personal assistance should absolutely continue. Individuals show wisdom and understanding, and they are aware of the limits of what volunteers can do, but it is important for them to have someone to confide in so they can cope with the problems that lie at the origin of their deepest worries.

In dealing with the material needs of those assisted by the "Centro Nando Peretti Laurentino 38", the volunteers' activities in each quarter of the year involved the following:

- donation of specific goods: the Centro di Aiuto alla Vita (CAV) of Roma Ardeatino has guaranteed food and clothing suitable for mothers and children, doctor's visits and free medicines.

- supplying foodstuffs: during 2011, 4062 gift packages were distributed (compare 3423 in 2010, and 2705 in 2009). The increase (18% more than in 2010 and 50% more than 2009) bears witness above all to the Foundation's financial commitment to meet the requirements of the neediest, and the increased work of volunteers in the preparation and distribution of packages; to this we should add that a further 150 families were assisted with the distribution of roughly 40 packages per month. About ten volunteers are involved in the preparation and distribution of packages.

- delivering items of clothing: there is always a keen demand for clothes from the beneficiaries, and this has been addressed working not only in customary collaboration with the ONLUS "Amici di Villa Flaminia", whose volunteer Antonella Susanna has ensured the Centre receive the contents of uncollected lost luggage from Fiumicino Airport, but also through the multiple donations and gifts from the many ladies at the Centre. Distribution of clothing is supervised by 8-10 people; through its representative, Dottoressa Lavinia Mennuni, the Comune di Roma has expressed great appreciation for the distribution of clothing for children in the 0-12 age range.

Numerous requests for help were also granted in the following areas:

- payment of utility bills and various charges, especially in cases where electric power had been cut off; the payment of rent installments, so as to meet the requirements of ATER (the company that manages the buildings at Laurentino 38 on behalf of the Comune di Roma), especially for needy beneficiaries facing eviction;

- purchase of schoolbooks, eyeglasses for children and adults (as regards the latter an agreement has been made with an optician); and assistance in paying the rates for school meals;

- providing blankets, sheets and pillows; much of this material was purchased, and some donated, with particular generosity from Coop, which donated ten pairs of sheets, and the Bettoja Hotel, which donated woollen blankets and 300 pillows. Indirect financial aid was provided to try to improve relations between certain beneficiaries and banks. On a more general level, gifts of trolleys and shopping bags were made to facilitate the collection of food packages. All assistance, above all anything relating to direct financial aid (paying of utility bills or individual purchase of materials), is only carried out after reference to the CUD income form and comprehensive ISEE documentation on income and property. Work carried out thus far has yielded some concrete results as regards overcoming difficulties, especially when challenges only turned out to be temporary; in fact seventeen families no longer require assistance from the Delegation.

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