Psychophysical disability: Local Administration, Enterprise, Voluntary work

Psychophysical disability

Local Administration, Enterprise, Voluntary work: creating community

In the Nineties we used to talk about voluntary work (non-profit) as the third entity, between Government and Market, as the subject capable of sensing people’s needs and interpreting them using rationales which had nothing to do with the Market and the Government. Subsequent studies, however, showed this could all look quite presumptuous and, above all, be of no help to non-profit projects. The response to a need cannot be left on the shoulders of volunteers alone. A social problem of such magnitude as disability – of whatever kind – and the consequent ambitious management projects, cannot leave out local authorities: absolutely independent voluntary work, which is particularly sensitive to people’s needs, takes on the organisation and management of the response to these needs, but it expects and solicits public offices to provide tools to help its efforts succeed. Hence the need for constant and analytical (and sometimes very tiring) communication right from the outset of the CLS project, the product of a mutual commitment aimed at comparing the methods and tools necessary to achieve a common aim: coping with an objective and pressing need in the community.

And what do you expect from the Administrative bodies? The interesting thing is that the Municipal Authority contributes to these voluntary projects by acting as a volunteer itself.

CLS was created thanks to a donation by the Municipal Authority, with the addition of constant donations by local benefactors. In 1983, the first premises and the first equipment for simple working activities (the assembly of cassettes and book binding) were provided for nine people, eight of whom were disabled.

The great thing about volunteer work is that it’s very moreish: the more you do the more you want to do.

The Lattuada box factory in Caronno Pertusella gave machines and customers to CLS-LA and the Municipal Authority bought more industrial units and placed them at the disposal of CLS – LA.

The machines were obsolete, the units were dilapidated but everything was precious, as was the constant flow of aid that came from all over the place, leading to the creation of the existing Fabbrica della Solidarietà in 1991: 2,500 mq of space to house the box factory, for the production of corrugated cardboard packaging.

It was no longer merely a modest voluntary activity, but a real factory, with production lines and qualified staff, with demand for its products coming in from the market.

Nothing is created, nothing is destroyed. But nothing is transformed.

This is a natural law which is also valid for voluntary work and consequently, also for CLS.

New spaces, new equipment, new professionalism and new operators were required. New donations by the local community were required. And once again the donations came in, from local businesses and from the whole town of Saronno, which generously participated in numerous initiatives: almost three million euro and the construction of the new Fabbrica della Solidarietà, begun in 2004 and completed in spring 2011.

On the ground floor, with an indoor area of 2400 m2, the paper and packaging activities joined the original premises, equipped with modern systems and machinery, the professionalism of qualified engineers and technicians, and a staff of 58 people, 40 of whom disabled. The first floor also finally houses the Community Accommodation.

What could be your donation today?