Proposals for a New Welfare

Proposals for a New Welfare

The instant book titled “For a New Welfare. Proposals from Civil Society” is curated by the Sale della Terra Network for Civil Economy and Vita. It will be presented on Facebook Live on Monday, June 15 at 5:00 PM. The book stems from the Civil Society Appeal for the reconstruction of a welfare system tailored to all individuals and territories. This appeal was sent to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Vittorio Colao (President of the Government Task Force for Phase Two), and Antonio De Caro (President of ANCI – National Association of Italian Municipalities). The document was written and promoted by Angelo Righetti, a psychiatrist and collaborator of Franco Basaglia, founder of the Res-Int International Social Economy Network, a member of the scientific committee of the International School of Human Development “Kip” established by Edgar Morin, and a member of the World Health Organization. Angelo Moretti, President of the Res-Int International Social Economy Network, the Sale della Terra Network for Civil Economy, and the Coordinator of the Network of Small Municipalities of the Welcome, is also a key figure in this initiative.

This pandemic has spoken to today’s men and women as a bell ringing an alarm would. Since this “storm,” as Pope Francis called it, began to blow, Italy has witnessed the vulnerability of its most fragile structures: overcrowded prisons, nursing homes, and retirement homes, homeless individuals without quarantine solutions, agricultural laborers in the fields who emerged from the black and terrible labor they had been engulfed in, unequal healthcare across regions, understaffed and under-equipped public healthcare, children and adolescents disappearing from the educational system simply because they were not connected, domestic violence that still requires serious attention, general practitioners forgotten, not treated as pillars of our territorial welfare, and the lack of a widespread home care network, our economy not aligned with environmental concerns and the climate crisis.

In response to this calamity, the Italian State acted as best as it could, but also hesitantly, because the disaster that befell it was great and unprecedented. Like a responsible head of a family, even though driven by good intentions, it acted by largely skipping the necessary involvement of intermediate social bodies, believing that the safety of individuals should take precedence over social bonds. Consequently, many roofs that were already unstable before the pandemic have collapsed.

Phase 2 should be the phase of community welfare, a community that “creates” welfare and is capable of reducing social distancing through personalized care for the many individuals who, in order to be safe, have been left alone more than secure. It is for those who will not reopen the shutters of their businesses, for those who, after the end of wage subsidies, will not find their companies open.

It is time to act collectively and synergistically with the “to care” of Don Milani’s memory. A “to care” that concerns both territories and individuals, where mayors and social organizations can together redesign the many interrupted life paths in the 5,400 small Italian municipalities. It’s a “to care” that embraces socially disabled individuals, the elderly, and the vulnerable, not within institutions but within personalized projects where welfare and the economy are not opposing aspects of development but a unified systemic approach to address the post-crisis era, including others rather than simply ensuring their safety, separating them, or even rejecting them.

This is where the Appeal to the Government comes into play because without listening to and involving civil society, Phase Two could still be uncertain and short-sighted.

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