by Massimiliano Fanni Canelles
The economic crisis in which we are all involved is caused mainly to the increase of public debt, the economic downturn and the difficult credibility of governments and politicians. Complicating the situation, they added little support measures for an increasingly abstract, the absence of regulation of the European financial system and the persistence of social and economic policies are unable to address the inequalities. The result was the weakening of the main pillars on which we have supported in recent years: our currency – the euro – and the cohesion of the EU. At the expense especially the vulnerable sections of society – the elderly, children, families, workers on minimum wages – the welfare and health. In our complicated Italy, several services to the public continue to be guaranteed by the action of the Third Sector, a universe of diverse non-profit organization, associations, NGOs, foundations and social cooperatives, which, despite everything, are still able to provide a response to the needs of common people. Volunteering is a participatory democracy that promotes solidarity, social cohesion, the economy itself. Nonprofit organizations pulling in silence the activities of municipal governments, provincial and regional cultural activities, social and humanitarian and replace the public, unable to offer services such as counseling centers, assisting the sick, the elderly, education and training activities . Not only.
The Third Sector is also introducing new ways of commerce, such as fair trade, or in the activity of fundrising juggles to fund medical research. The policy and the government does not seem to realize that, just in times of recession, the economy and social membership is an effective way to provide the necessary services to the community. Financing to Volunteer do not, therefore, a cost, but an investment in one of the few sectors "cheap" not in crisis. There are approximately 100 million Europeans who are working in the voluntary, 23 out of 100 people over the age of 15 years. Overall, in economic terms, volunteers, representing 20% of the total revenue of the non-profit institutions (40 million), an indicator invisible to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), but substantial for the economy and, above , for the welfare of the country. For this, the Inter-Commission-Mayor CNEL is moving in search of new indices of well-being than GDP and is working to put the "propensity to volunteer" as an indicator of wealth, human and social, of a people. The challenge today is to reduce debt, cut costs, fight against tax evasion, to boost economic growth, fight corruption, cartels, privileges, lobbies and support research and innovation. But it is also and above all, to stimulate volunteer work as an active subject in social change and in removing of the causes that generate the uneasiness, social exclusion, injustice, conflict, locally, nationally and internationally. It is significant that these initiatives are confined in their own in 2011, the European Year of Volunteers, but also a year of a serious economic conditions. A financial crisis that comes from that culture. Thanks to associations, it becomes possible to discover the values ??that have always guided the volunteers: gratuity, mutuality, solidarity. "Highlight the resources of that world of men and women who volunteer their efforts for the benefit of others is a contribution to Europe to overcome the crisis. Only back at the center the needs of the weakest, European and extra-European, the Old Continent will find a route that leads to the greatness of the founding fathers’ dream. " (A. D’Angelo – Community of Sant’Egidio)
Realized by Martina Delser