Stakes at stake

Publish date 03-05-2023

by Gianfranco Cattai

In the last issue, I mentioned volunteering in the Italian Post Office. I really had no information on what was developing between the Italian Post Office and the National Third Sector Forum. I am therefore happy to provide some information which has since been made public.

In implementation of the memorandum of understanding between the Forum and Poste Italiane, signed about a year ago, the Forum sent the Poste's corporate volunteering program to its members. Promoted as part of social responsibility, corporate volunteering represents an ethical choice of Poste Italiane and a concrete commitment to the community, in line with the values and principles established in the Code of Ethics and in the Sustainability Policies.

To make the contribution that Poste Italiane intends to give in this area systematic, and increasingly broader, in the second half of February 2023, a company platform will be activated - the first in Italy - dedicated to promotion of the projects proposed by the Third Sector for the purpose of engaging the 120,000 Poste Italiane employees as volunteers, to which former retired employees will also be added, and which will be addressed in this first phase to a maximum number of 50 Third Sector entities. The ETS (Third Sector Entities) associated with the Forum are therefore invited to submit proposals to host Poste Italiane volunteers. What planning will the third sector entities put in place, with what creativity will they proceed to address meaningful responses with respect to the real world?

Now here lies the real challenge. But in the meantime, congratulations go to both sides because Poste Italiane represent the most widespread service in Italian municipalities and the Third Sector Forum is the place of convergence of the majority of Italian organizations . Obviously, it will then be the people in the individual places who will give the quality answers. But the system remains important.

Italy is the country in Europe where civil society is most organized: we must take this into account. How, however, must we take into account that: «The path of classification of many forms of volunteering in the law on the Third Sector can run the risk of extinguishing humble and free volunteering. Christian communities and pastors must not stop promoting available volunteering, which is simply free". The bishop of Novara, Monsignor Franco Giulio Brambilla said it recently during his homily on the feast of San Gaudenzio. A time therefore for rethinking and redesigning personal services, for reflecting on how to stop putting everyone's self - myself included - before the dimension of "we" as a project of community and society.

Gianfranco Cattai
NP February 2023

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