New Humanity Movement

Social Ethics

prendere-il-voloAs a result of a wrong regional law many young boys and girls entrusted to social services, are likely to remain in the streets until they reach a mature age.  A community of the Missionaries of St Jerome at Cagliari undertakes to start a fund to change things, and are successful in doing it.

By Sister Paula and Sister Veronica – Cagliari (Italy)

Our names are Sister Paula and Sister Veronica.  We are Somasche Missionaries of St Jerome.  We live in Sardinia, in a community that welcomes children entrusted to social services.

Since we started our work two years ago, we have been faced with a big problem regarding the children.  When they reach adulthood, these young people are no longer legally protected and are returned to their original families.  In most cases this rule, under the law of the Sardinian region, has made null and void all the work done in the previous years, with an incredible waste of human resources, energy, money and time.

Young people between the ages of 17 and 17½ years come to us with a multi-problematic social life behind them and more than ever still need our help.  For many years they suffered experiences that make them particularly sensitive and vulnerable.  Social services intervene only when the family situation is far too compromised, and in most desperate cases involve the courts.  This is a very complicated situation.

Thinking about what is best for these young people, our community tried a solution, proposing the creation of a “family house” in a system of partial independence, in an apartment outside the community, where young adults are welcomed,  together with adult volunteers as points of reference and support.

We called our project “Take Flight” and after finding the place and available volunteers to take care of these young people, we submitted our proposal to the government authorities.  But there was no money.

The appreciation of our initiative on the part of the authorities was a great surprise for us, especially the fact that our proposal was heard by the Minister for Health and Social Services of the region of Sardinia.

At the official presentation of our project some authorities from the nearby communities, councils and the region of Sardinia were present,   including a Councillor who highlighted our initiative as representing an adequate response to this serious social problem.  The Councillor committed himself to find the money, using our experience as a model to change the law.

In October 2006 a new regional law on this issue was launched, and now it is in force.

A telephone company that supports some social projects in favour of the children came to know of our plans and sponsored us from the start, allowing many young people to take advantage of this opportunity.

Finally we were involved in the “Leonard” project, a European project where Cagliari is a partner, together with Finland, Estonia and the United Kingdom.  Representatives from these countries have visited us and our sisters have shown them our work.  The Finnish coordinator said, “You work very well, go ahead in this way.”

We are very happy with the way things are going ahead especially because we are convinced that what is happening is the result not only of our professionalism, but above all because of our choice of living for the other, for our city, putting at the basis of all our work the spirituality that is realised by living for fraternity.  Everywhere.

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