There’s an African proverb that says "When an old person dies, it’s as if a library burns down". We began our collaboration with the Comunità di Sant’Egidio in 2004 to support old people in need and preserve the heritage they embody. The "A casa è meglio" (It’s better at home) project, to which we contributed, aims to prevent the abandonment of old people in hospitals or care homes in 6 cities: Novara, Fiumicino, Messina, Savona, Livorno and Napoli.
From 2007 to 2008 the project expands, creates new spaces to socialize and enjoy assistance in the city of Messina and arrives as far as Catania.
It was followed in 2011 by "Viva gli Anziani" (Long Live the Older Generation), an innovative integrated model that involves active monitoring of the over-eighties. In 2008 Enel Cuore also supported the creation of a multi-service day centre for the older generation, providing socialisation services and assistance, including legal and bureaucratic help to over-65s in Messina.
In 2016 our partnership with the Comunità di Sant’Egidio was further consolidated with the "Viva gli Anziani – a city for the Older Generation and a city for all" initiative, a project based on integrating and reorganising the experience already gained by implementing a home visit and active monitoring system, creating new structural and infrastructural solutions, as well assupport and adequate training for caregivers and the families concerned.
The "Viva gli Anziani - a city for the Older Generation and a city for all" project also ran during 2018 and is continuing in 2019 with the aim of combatting social poverty affecting older people in ten Italian municipalities. It also offers support to the over-80s by implementing a system of domestic visits and active monitoring, promoting new structural and infrastructural solutions like co-housing and improving elderly people’s living environments. Thanks to the commitment of thousands of volunteers and the experience of the Comunità di Sant’Egidio, the project has built up an increasingly extensive and professional network that places the individual at the centre of its activities and provides responses to the real needs of elderly people.
The project continues in May 2020 with a fundraiser with the aim of combating the health emergency from Covid-19 which has put many elderly people in difficulty: we have doubled the proceeds and donated it to the Comunità di Sant'Egidio to enhance the services of “Viva gli Anziani” in the places where it was already active (Novara, Genoa, Rome, Naples, Catania, Ferentino Amatrice, Civitavecchia, Brindisi and Sassari) and in two new cities: Parma and Padua.
The well-being of the most vulnerable people is always at the core of our actions, which is why from 2021 our commitment with the Comunità also translates into new interventions with the aim of improving the quality of life of these people, especially in the South with the inclusion of Potenza, in Basilicata: co-housing initiatives and new dissemination campaigns will bring our project and our message to all the cities involved.
Today the challenges are not over, on the contrary they change sides bringing us to Ukraine in the heart of the war. Under the "Viva gli anziani!” umbrella we are collecting economic and medical aid that the Comunità di Sant’Egidio brings to the borders with Poland and Slovakia, where they also offer hospitality to refugees. And in our cities we have made the elderly participating in the project more involved and aware of the war in progress, thanks to training meetings where above all they can give a message of peace, in the hope that the memories of these people can sensitize the younger generation.
Organisation: Comunità di Sant’Egidio ACAP non-profit
Intended beneficiaries: more than 47.000 people
Total contributions to the organisation: more than € 7.000.000
Duration: from 2004 to 2022