Rome, 14 September 2022 – Seven projects to contribute to the social and economic growth of the internal areas of Southern Italy, recovering ancient crafts and traditions and promoting the social and occupational inclusion of people in difficulty. Those are the projects selected through the tender "Nel Cuore del Sud" promoted by Enel Cuore, the non-profit organization of the Enel Group, and the Fondazione CON IL SUD, and aimed at third sector organizations in Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Puglia, Sardinia and Sicily. The selected initiatives will be financed with 1.5 million euros and will favor paths of accompaniment to the autonomy for people with fragility or at risk of marginalization and hardship, promoting the enhancement of the vocations and excellence of the southern internal areas such as tourism, crafts, agriculture and food and wine (1,472 municipalities out of a total of 2,116).
“By launching the "Nel Cuore del Sud" tender, we wanted to support the realities that make our south an excellence for the country and today we celebrate the results with satisfaction" declared Michele Crisostomo, President of Enel and of Enel Cuore Onlus. "The selected projects represent the best of our tradition and perfectly blend the values of inclusion and innovation, essential for relaunching Southern Italy and the entire country. The historic moment we are experiencing requires unity of purpose and this is why we cannot afford to leave anyone behind, especially those people who live in conditions of disability and fragility and social and economic marginalization”.
“These projects show us something very important: that even the smallest, distant, forgotten places of our South, places that are often totally underestimated and reluctantly abandoned by young people, have so much to offer if the right opportunities are created", said Carlo Borgomeo, President of the Fondazione CON IL SUD. “Ancient crafts, local traditions, the agricultural and food specificities of a territory can become opportunities for economic and social redemption. They can be opportunities for social cohesion and, therefore, for growth. It is from here that a real renaissance can be generated for these places”.
The projects will allow the recovery of ancient crafts and traditions that are at risk of disappearing, from the construction of dry stone walls (Casarano, province of Lecce) to the craftsmanship of libbani (Maratea, province of Potenza), vegetable ropes produced starting from the weaving of the wild herb “tagliamani”; from loom weaving for the creation of a new line of women's clothing with natural yarns (Squillace and Girifalco, province of Catanzaro) to the weaving of natural fibers (valley of Cedrino, province of Nuoro) such as cattail - a marsh plant that grows spontaneously along the rivers - for the creation of furnishing objects instead of plastic; to the launch of a social tailoring (Galatina, province of Lecce) in a confiscated property, enhancing the ancient profession of the Salento seamstress and embroiderer, reinterpreting the knowledge and techniques of the past through modern technologies. The valorisation of some local specialties is also foreseen, from the cannellino suscieglio bean (Sessa Aurunca, province of Caserta) to the cereals and legumes of the Alta Murgia (Spinazzola, province of Barletta-Andria-Trani), which will be transformed into products for people with celiac disease and diabetes.
The projects will encourage the employment of people in difficulty who will participate in training courses held by masters who still carry on traditions and crafts that are at risk of disappearing, also through the establishment of new social cooperatives. Among other activities, initiatives are envisaged for the protection of the landscape and monitoring of agricultural production through new technologies, the creation of e-commerce platforms for the sale of the products, training courses and workshops dedicated to tourists and students, the creation of accommodation facilities and points of sale.