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EDLS: “Virtuous models can be built on local realities”

1 December 2016
Within the first edition of the European Days of Local Solidarity, Italian Association of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (AICCRE) has organized and hosted at its premises in Rome a 5-day open doors with conferences, debates, exhibition corners, videos and exchange of knowledge among civil society organizations, experts, citizens and policy makers.
“In these days, we are experiencing a participatory model: the more we involve citizens and we solicit values of solidarity and change, the more this fluid movement will enlarge… it is from the bottom-up of local realities that virtuous models can be built” said Carla Rey, Secretary general of AICCRE during the press conference opening of the activities.
Partner of the event was the Association Botteghe del Mondo (member of the World Fair Trade Europe). “I represent an association that has at international level 80 shops, 5,000 volunteers, and 20 projects concerning both the manufacturing company in the Southern Hemisphere and the Italian Fair Trade. This is an opportunity to present our social and cultural activities,” explained Massimo Renno, its President. The MP Chiara Scuvera declared that the law on Fair Trade is currently before the Senate and it provides for the recognition of a network of solidarity economy with a very important role of subsidiarity for the Organizations.
A local example in the Rome metropolitan area has been well explained by Riccardo Troisi, researcher in Economics at the University of Cooperation in Bogota, Colombia: only in Rome there are 160 groups of solidarity purchasing groups, 130 urban gardens, 15 fair trade shops. The research monitored 55 territories in 32 countries, of which 26 in Europe.
Local becomes global also when we put the person at very centre of the economy, through projects like production of local food for the community. The session “Decentralisation and Cooperation” focused on the experience of the social cooperative Barikamà (“Resistant” in Bambara language), a micro-income project for social integration that sees the organic yogurt production and its sales in solidarity circuits in Rome. The project is run by young Africans who were excluded from official channels of reception and re-employment. Thanks to this project they received a residency permit for humanitarian reasons. Social inclusion, work self-management and the possibility to re-create the same working experience with the acquired skills and competences back to their countries are the “best practices” of the project where cities must become inclusive and sustainable places.
An important session has been addressed to students with the Association Lo Faccio bene (“I Do it Well”). The aim of the Association is to show how we can act positively for the common good by stimulating change through examples, informing, raising awareness and intercepting different social and cultural context starting from education in schools a place where social innovation and dialogue is possible.
For more information on EDLS www.europeandaysoflocalsolidarity.eu