Over the years, the Charity Fund has supported many projects both in Italy and abroad. Here follow some examples of projects which we funded.
Youth Files: training, integration into the working world, education and socialisation of young people
The project consists of an integrated educational initiative designed to support young people between the ages of 14 and 18, particularly those facing hardship in terms of personal problems; those at risk of being school drop-outs; and those with families facing severe financial difficulties.
The actions undertaken are:
- canteen meals, guaranteed by a study grant awarded on the basis of income and merit;
- Job Centre - this facility assists young people for two years after they finish school by help them to step into the working world.
- cultural activities - poetry, prose and contemporary art competitions, theatre and musical initiatives;
- leisure time and integration initiatives - sporting activities, educational visits, volunteer days;
- integration of productive and educational activities - work experience while also attending school;
- development of the Catania project..
During the year, the Piazza dei Mestieri (The Professions Square) involved around 3500 teenagers (around 1300 in Catania):
- 1,575 young people aged between 14 and 18 in three-year projects or four-year projects for qualifications or professional diploma;
- 1,408 young people in special projects in partnership with a local network of institutions (public entities, banking foundations, social assistants, parishes and schools) working to combat truancy at school, support education, promote the integration of young non-EU immigrants, offer career guidance, and combat bullying;
- around 250 over-18s in one of the tertiary ITS post-diploma training courses in the Piazza, on the topics of information technology, food production (brewing), and local marketing policies;
- and around 170 young people and adults who attended training/retraining courses or apprenticeships.
- The Job Centre provided services to a total of 1124 users, 167 of whom were students who qualified in June, collaborating with 675 companies;
- 300 study grants were allocated with a value of 800 euro each, which can be used for paying for meals from the Piazza canteen. The grants are allocated in line with criteria based on merit and income, which takes into account the initial economic status of the young person and his/her academic results.
Emporio della solidarietà (Solidarity marketplace)
Up and running since 2011, the Emporio della Solidarietà is a 500-m2 supermarket on the Lecce-Novoli country road, where a shopping charge card can be used, the sum loaded being based on the income and number of dependent children. The card, valid for a maximum of three months and renewable for another three, allows users to enjoy a free shopping trip. The available products (food and essentials) are goods received as donations and excess stock.
The Emporio services are not for those facing long-term poverty, but for those in the "new poverty" category - i.e. the victims of the socio-economic crisis which in recent years has brought financial hardship and troubles to the doors of thousands of families who cannot survive to the final week of the month, and sometimes not even to the third week. Individuals who visit the Emporio, having been flagged up by local Social Services, are members of families faced with marginalisation; these are mainly adults between the ages of 35 and 64, the family breadwinners who have lost their jobs. The support guaranteed by the Emmanuel Community is not only a question of material help for the local families, but above all an initiative to turn to, offering someone to listen to their needs, drawing up a precise and detailed outline of their living conditions in order to help them find a solution to their requirements.
The main aim of the project in 2017 was to expand the services offered by the Emporio, with particular reference to inclusion services in the socio-employment context of the local area.
Starting in January 2017, the following were launched:
- a Social Office, a neighbourhood helpdesk for citizens offering hospitality, a friendly ear, counselling and assistance for visitors;
- the Tax Assistance Centre (C.A.F.) and the Social Assistance Agency, which check the details of those applying for support and provides tax assistance to users;
- Emmanuel Health Services, free heart check-ups (upon request);
- Idea Work Agency, a training service with training and support provided for self-employment and reintegration into the working world;
- The Emmanuel Consortium, a consultancy, training and careers service to find and plan launch projects for micro-companies and social enterprises, as well as guidance and tax/legal assistance.
In 2017 alone, the Emporio services were used to assist around 1000 families, from around 2200 activated contacts.
Gathering excess food stocks was also supported, with the collection of over 80,000kg of food in one year and redistribution of over 60,000kg of this stock, equalling an increase of around 15% in the number of families assisted.
Combating infant mortality: access to childbirth and obstetric emergency services at the county hospital of Lui in Mundri East in the federal state of Western Equatoria.
The project took place in the county of Mundri East, part of the federal state of Amadi created by the division of the former state of Western Equatoria. The federal state of Amada has an overall population of 174,000 people, of which 7100 are pregnant women and 30,500 children under the age of 5.
The Hospital of Lui is the only hospital in the state of Amadi; it is owned by the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan but is recognised as part of the government's healthcare service and thus receives assistance from the Ministry of Health in the form of staff and medicinal drugs. It stands as one of the few examples of a public-private partnership in South Sudan.
The hospital has 100 beds, divided between the Paediatrics, Maternity, General Medicine and Surgery wards. The operating theatre is open twenty-four hours a day, every day, for emergencies, including childbirth emergencies. Mothers-to-be at risk, who are quickly identified, are hosted at the waiting residence in the hospital complex. Gynaecological appointments also feature an ultrasound service. The laboratory and pharmacy aid the regular the work done by clinical practitioners. As well as outpatient and hospitalisation services, preventive services are supplied, especially for mothers and children. The Hospital is a diagnostic and treatment centre for HIV/AIDS, TB, eye diseases and malnutrition. 106 local professionals work in the hospital, some of whom are employed directly and others who are assigned to work there by the government. Doctors with Africa Cuamm complete the workforce, with expatriate specialists who deal with clinical tasks and training/supervision of the national staff.
During the project, the Hospital was a training site for 20 apprentice students in the annexed Obstetrics School, who all graduated in July 2017 and are currently employed in hospitals and health centres all over Africa, including the Lui Hospital.
Thanks to the project, the Cuamm was able to guarantee the continuous running of the Hospital, including in the most critical periods. The Hospital of Lui was the only facility in the country to supply non-stop health services and was a point of reference for the evacuated and resident populations, guaranteeing shelter, neutrality and safety, as well as offering a reason to stay, particularly for the local health personnel. Keeping the hospital open increased the credibility and recognition of the facility among the community and both local and central political institutions, paving the way for the continuation, completion and expansion of the initiative. It represented a factor of increased institutional sustainability of the hospital's activity and the project results.
- over 2300 people admitted to the obstetrics-gynaecology ward;
- over 6000 pre-natal appointments;
- more than 1400 hospital births;
- around 1300 baby kits handed out to mothers facing financial hardship.
Slow Food and the Terra Madre network in Uganda: eliminating rural poverty through the protection and enhancement of the local food’s biodiversity
The Slow Food project in Uganda was launched in 2015 and is part of Slow Food's overall commitment in the continent, known as the "10,000 gardens in Africa". The aim is to expand the country's activities by extending the initiatives to 40 districts scattered across 4 regions (Central, Northern, Western and Eastern) and to create an integrated supply chain to eliminate rural poverty through the protection and enhancement of local food biodiversity.
By the end of the project:
- 200 gardens supported, involving over 17,000 people;
- 6 units for the breeding of cattle and growing of different agricultural products, supported for 8 producer organisations for a total of over 200 farmers/livestock farmers;
- all beneficiaries received training and technical visits;
- 3 Mercati della Terra (Earth Markets) for small producers to directly sell local produce;
- a Food Academy launched for 20 young people.