The “Libera Mente” social promotion association was formally formed on 28.05.02 with the specific aim of providing members with a tool for creating and developing services in the social field.
The reception was the first professional service that the association implemented when it was relaunched. We have taken as reference the OPERATOR MANUAL OF SPRAR SERVICES, model to which the organization of the work has conformed. The elements of originality have been the educational approach through which the relationship with users and the work conceived in multidisciplinary staff is kept dynamic and evolving, which increases effectiveness and protects from emotional overload. The additional innovative element was the use of the Google platform for non-profit for sharing, programming and promptly storing data.
We promote volunteering as an active citizenship practice that works alongside professionals to integrate it.
Redefinition of volunteering projects
The association was rebuilt 5 years ago on the basis of a project that is now running out. The capital of respectability and relationships accumulated today is reinvested towards something that allows us to continue the path, which is both human and professional. The reform of the third sector calls us to reflect intensively on the tools we have available and to make important personal and professional choices. The minor project takes shape with the usual lay approach, flanked by projects of a more ecological connotation and those instead focused on personal growth. The small free space reserved for the teaching of yoga, evolves towards the promotion of the CONTACT IMPROVVISATION, through the summer seminar organized by us. Let us imagine a clear choice of field, towards the promotion of personal well-being, of environmentally friendly lifestyles, of human relations in the name of respect and the peaceful resolution of disputes. Our idea of a new humanism.
Development of associative life
The majority out of the political elections of spring 2019, has radicalized an approach to immigration issues already present in the public debate: the criminalization of NGOs engaged in rescue operations, the formalization of agreements with interlocutors of dubious moral integrity in Libya, the consideration miserable of the whole reception system. The new majority has racist and intolerant connotations and has made choices that go in the direction of: 1) making the arrival of migrants very difficult 2) making their integration impossible. Our role as part of the system, rendered irrelevant, penalized economically and on a practical, daily basis. Speaking of integration and enhancement of migrants, it has become extremely unpopular and decidedly inappropriate.
Evaluation of the possibilities for service diversification
First the downturn in arrivals – experienced by us with great frustration because we thought that the high position in the ranking would have protected us -, then the renegotiation of the contract – which cut the entire services to the person – has given an acceleration to our projects and their remodeling: we do not know if and how we can continue to work with migrants, but we certainly have to think about designing something else.
Increased ecological and ethical activity
Thanks to the work done with voluntary projects and the ancient sensitivity towards social agriculture projects, a reflection begins on the protection of traditional crops and the conservation of the ecosystem. We focus on ecological walks and on the free reproduction of horticultural crops according to an ecological, ethical and social project.
Development of a minors’ reception project from the penalty
Our attention goes in the direction of services for minors, an area in which some of us have had not always positive experience. We turn to the users of the juvenile court, because our region suffers from a shortage of beds
Define identity association type association of migrants
Free Mind was – as an associative structure – placed at the service of the project and by extension, of the migrants received. At the beginning the application for registration was instrumental to participation in volunteer projects, but through this simple step, together with the work done to build cohabitation, we were able to start a discussion on mutual aid and the possibility of participating in community life. For most of our guests the associative form represents something alien, compared to their own life experience, but we think that the bonds we have built can produce good results even after the reception experience is over. We constantly have proof of this, with requests for help and / or support, but also with frequent visits by the exiles to Ponte Buriano.
Further develop the migrant reception project
The hospitality project, which consists of four apartments, the acquisition of the second floor of Ponte Buriano, the numerous and close-knit staff, characterize an effective and efficient work. We have a well-oiled reputation and mechanism, which can now reason to standardize procedures and future developments.
Further develop community life and volunteering
We have always interpreted the contribution of volunteering as “accessory” and “integrative” of professional work and this has allowed us to make well-considered projects, without room for improvisation and indeed much space for the growth of individual volunteers.
Maximum professionalization in a personalistic and anti-racist way of welcoming and integrating migrants.
The professional and not fragmented approach of our reception is recognized as useful and adequate to face particular cases: our intervention is systematically requested for migrants in difficulty, subjected to disciplinary measures or explicitly vulnerable. The professional figure of the nurse is integrated into the staff. The non-ideological or paternalistic but rather person-centered inspiration allows the staff to grow harmoniously and effectively manage the risk of emotional overload.
Development of associative vitality and volunteering projects complementary to reception.
The vitality of the project attracts the interest of many people we meet: the connections with the realities of the territory increase and the activities multiply. Another apartment is opened.
Balanced, sustainable and transparent development of the association.
The most demanding phase of the relaunch of the association can be considered concluded. Libera Mente has a clear identity, has economic resources and a horizon to move towards.
Develop and consolidate the migrant reception project
The following year served to consolidate the project, with the formalization of labor relations and the articulation of the first developments. It immediately seemed clear to us that the structure of Ponte Buriano was to be a first step in a more complex path, where people but also the educational staff themselves, experienced different and progressive degrees of autonomy. This dynamism of the project has allowed us to maintain lively relations and work.
Create volunteer projects to involve migrants in socially useful activities
Voluntary activities besides satisfying a certain political piucchealtro pressure to carry out socially useful activities, we have interpreted as the other: first of all make something we liked, that had meaning for those who realized; also use another space to cultivate the relationship, to be with the guest.
Revitalize the association
At the end of 2015, the Libera Mente APS association was a head without a body, the collaboration with the CSA that had favored its birth no longer existed. From the initiative of Alessandro Papalini and Roberto Barelli to build a project around the reception of migrants, a path of renewal has begun, both at the top and at the “dispersed” social body.
Renovate the Ponte Buriano apartment to make it a welcome center
The building located in Ponte Buriano had a number of positive characteristics: it was large and spacious, a little isolated from the context, with a series of interesting “accessories” and finally belonged to reasonable friends who would have allowed us to restructure it to “discount rent” . At the beginning of 2015, the house had been vacant for years, but with the fixtures and fixtures in place, so it was necessary to clean it, whiten it, restore some rooms and furnish it; all work done “economically” and with the impromptu help of some friends.
Participate in the call for migrant reception
Participation in the call for applications required another impressive job: we knew little or nothing about calls, we knew little or nothing about managing a ‘complex business. A neo-president in a state of grace, constantly focused and decisive, and a vocation for professionalism and transparency weighed heavily. The fourth place in the ranking has “certified” the goodness of the efforts made. In June 2015, the activity became operational with the arrival of the first guests.