“Esserci Fest”, the two-day event in Messina with volunteering attentive to new needs

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By John

More than fifteen hundred participants, around fifty associations and third sector bodies present, over forty speakers, eight tables of cultural contamination and speeches, masterclasses, conferences, debates, an agora. They are the numbers that consecrate the success of the first edition of “Esserci Fest, the volunteering festival that exists”. It was held for the first time in the city, over the weekend. An innovation desired by the Ets Volunteering Service Center of Messina, aimed at joining forces in the concrete commitment to building the volunteering of the future, in a society in motion that by changing, changes needs and priorities that the Third Sector is called to address answer.

At the end of the second day of “Being there”, which ended yesterday morning, in the Hall of Flags of Palazzo Zanca, with the participation of the highest city authorities, including the prefect Cosima Di Stani and the mayor Federico Basile, the final balance is more than flattering as it was a pilot event that paved the way. «After two years of stopping – said Santino Mondello, president of Cesv Messina –, we have achieved a positive result which pushes us to think about new editions, which given the enormous organizational effort could take place every two years”.

Basile insisted on collaboration with the world of volunteering. The mayor, together with the prefect, took the opportunity to thank the sea of ​​volunteers who put their skills and time at the service of others every day. After the masterclass by Piero Paoletti of Nextbit on “Non-profits in the times of Third Sector reform”, the director of Cesv Rosario Ceraolo thanked the institutional representatives, passing the floor to the president of Otc Sicilia, Vito Puccio, who hoped for greater collaboration between the institutions and the third sector. «If politics dialogues – he said – the institutions still do not do so especially when it comes to bureaucracy.”

Chiara Tommasini, president of CsvNet, spoke on the role of service centers for volunteering alongside changing volunteeringwhich illustrated the eight points of the new national volunteering manifesto, “To do well together”, founded by the forty-nine Italian CESVs.

Laura Perrotta, director of Doctors Without Borders, spoke of the incredible work done to heal the world’s wounds amidst the bombings of wars, poverty, the journeys of hope of those who flee from their homeland. «Even if there is no Doctors Without Borders group in Messina – he highlighted – there are nine thousand citizens of Messina who support us with their donations».

The theme of professions in the third sector which offers work to around one million Italians, addressed by Diego Maria Ierna, co-founder of Job 4 Good. The journalist and television presenter Riccardo Bonacina, editor of the Pontiff’s latest book “I will take care of you”, discussed the response to the call made by Pope Francis on the common good.

An intense morning full of contributions and new ideas from which to start again were also provided by Patrizia Caruso of Action Aid Italia, who focused on the role of citizenship in democratic action. Antonella Ferrara, president and artistic director of Taobuk, analyzed the role of the reading festival and the priorities in promoting cultural welfare, underlining the free contribution provided every year by the students. Michele Gagliardo of Libera’s speech was based on educational responsibility to counter mafia devices.

The councilor for social services, Alessandra Calafiore, took part in the two days and underlined the importance of the initiative for our city. Special thanks to the director of the festival Letizia Bucalo Vita, vice-president of the Italian Fundraiser association and one of the creators of the event.