Fondazione CON IL SUD and Enel Cuore have announced a call for proposals to foster social inclusion and activate programs that can increase autonomy for individuals who are vulnerable or at risk of marginalization and social hardship in southern Italy; these programs will also be an opportunity for local development, as they will give new value to the area’s traditional vocations and excellence in fields such as tourism, craftsmanship, agriculture, and food and wine in the South’s inland areas.
Rome, October 11, 2021 – Using new tools and technologies to bring innovation and renewed value to the area’s traditional vocations, specialty products and points of excellence that are currently at risk of dying out, in order to promote social inclusion and increase autonomy for the most vulnerable people living in the inland areas of southern Italy: this is the idea behind “Nel Cuore del Sud” (“In the Heart of the South”), the call for proposals promoted by Fondazione CON IL SUD and Enel Cuore, Enel’s charitable foundation, addressed to third sector organizations in Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Apulia, Sardinia, and Sicily.
Unemployment, increased inequality and poverty, and crisis in a number of industries are just a few of the dramatic consequences of the pandemic. In particular, the employment crisis has especially affected young people, women and immigrants who live in the inland areas of southern Italy, which make up 70% of the country’s southern municipalities (1,472 out of 2,116). Due to their distance from essential services, isolation in these small towns was worsened, resulting in a decrease in the population and in employment rates.
Rediscovering and renewing the area’s specialty products and traditional vocations – tied to tourism, craftsmanship, agriculture, food and wine – can become a job opportunity for someone who is in a vulnerable condition or on the margins of society, as well as being a chance to foster social cohesion and long-lasting, sustainable processes for local development in southern Italy’s small municipalities.
“We often complain about the fact that the beautiful traditions of our South and its ancient crafts are being lost,” said Carlo Borgomeo, President of Fondazione CON IL SUD, whose name means ‘With the South’. “This call for proposals is our way of telling young people, and anyone who’s in a difficult situation, that this precious heritage can be turned into a tool for economic, human and social growth. It’s just a small step, but it’s important to spread the message that when we talk about development for southern Italy we cannot forget the small municipalities in inland areas, which are so often the only ones still protecting ancient traditions and knowledge. It’s also a beacon of hope for young people who think leaving the South is an inevitable choice.”
“By promoting this call for proposals together with Fondazione CON IL SUD, we are certain we can make a tangible contribution to growth in southern Italy and its inland municipalities, which are too often neglected,” commented Michele Crisostomo, Chairman of Enel and Enel Cuore. “This project aims to promote social inclusion for the most vulnerable people – one of Enel Cuore’s core values – through professional pathways that preserve and revive the many excellent traditions rooted in our local territories. With an eye to innovation and technology, we can break free from isolation and mend the social fabric, fostering sustainable economic development of the communities in southern Italy at the same time.”
To qualify, project partnerships must include at least three organizations: a minimum of two non-profits – one of which is responsible for the partnership itself – joined by one or more organizations such as companies, institutions, universities or research centers. The deadline for submissions is December 13, 2021, and a total of up to 1.5 million euros will be made available by the two promoting organizations to support approved projects.
Download the Call for proposals “Nel Cuore del Sud. Iniziative di inserimento sociale attraverso la valorizzazione delle eccellenze e dei mestieri tradizionali nelle aree interne meridionali”