Lights in the park: a refreshment and music rooms in the abandoned building.

GROSSETO – It's called “Luci nel Parco” and it's the innovative project launched by Caritas, the Ethics Foundation and the Tuscany Region which sees Grosseto among the first territories in Italy to experiment with a new social initiative.

"To respond with innovative tools to the growing social needs and to the critical issues deriving from the economic crisis and the progressive lack of public resources" is the reason explained by Don Enzo Capitani, director of Caritas, who led a group of institutional and associative subjects from Grosseto to get together to analyze the situation of the city, which, like others in Italy, is facing complex problems.

On the one hand, in fact, there are social emergencies, such as poverty, disability, addictions; on the other, fears, such as those for work, home, safety. They are interdependent problems, to be tackled no longer only with welfare measures, but by trying to act upstream, on the causes.

Thanks to the collaboration of these subjects it was possible to develop an experimental solution, inspired by the Third Sector Reform. This is the social impact investment project called "Luci nel Parco", which involves the regeneration of a disused public building within the Maremma Park with the aim of social integration and economic development.

"The building and the surrounding area - explains Vittorio Bugli, regional councilor - will be arranged and equipped with furniture and instruments for the launch of some social and economic activities".

"The project - explains Paola Caporossi, president of the Ethical Foundation - compared to the past provides a series of innovations especially for the aspects related to social impact planning". Among the novelties, the "multi-stakeholder" character of the promoter, the intention to produce a measurable and wide-ranging social impact, the innovative method of financing, replicability».

«Luci was conceived not to make yet another nice social project, one of the many in which our country is rich - adds Don Enzo Capitani - but to become a new model of making social policies».

In fact, the Luci project is not limited to charity and goes beyond the simple regeneration of an abandoned building. Rather, the goal is to produce a benefit for the entire community.

“The Luci project – explains Riccardo Breda, president of the Chamber of Commerce of the Maremma and the Tyrrhenian Sea – represents an interesting experiment for our economy: the innovative synergy between the credit system, social workers and institutions allows not only to recover space for community for charitable purposes, but develops a truly innovative third sector business model in the field, capable of contributing positively to the local economic system".

The main activity to which the project will give life is that of sustainable catering, given that the building stands on the land of the regional farm.

The "bio-local" will be managed by a social cooperative which will offer work to people in difficulty and will have to generate income in the future. A small percentage of this will go to a fund dedicated to future impact projects.

«The inspiring principle – explain the promoters – is that whoever has received, in turn tames and invests in the community».

The second activity is the musical one: young people, but not only them, will have rooms equipped for musical rehearsals and will be able to perform in the evening in the “bio-local” show area.

«In exchange – continues Paola Caporossi – they commit themselves to the same inspiring principle mentioned above, to teach a musical instrument to those who cannot afford a music course».

The third activity is of an educational and cultural nature: it involves the promotion of social impact planning, through training courses for public bodies, volunteers, students, companies, also with the support of local trade associations.

A bank rooted in the area has decided to intervene as a private financial partner, with an innovative way of financing social activities, in accordance with the provisions of the Third Sector reform.

«It is a certificate of deposit – explains Bugli – whose subscriber will receive a six-monthly coupon, a percentage of which will be donated to the Luci project, receiving a tax benefit».

The half-yearly donations of all subscribers will go to the Luci project; their use will be reported online and individual subscribers will be able to personally verify the progress of the project with on-site inspections, activating widespread civic monitoring that will involve the entire community».

(The Rush – 09/13/2019)