The Italian Large Families Association and ELFAC celebrated together in Rimini their 20th anniversary

The twentieth anniversary of Anfn (the official date of the association’s foundation is 26 July 2004) and the twentieth anniversary of ELFAC, the federation that brings together all the associations of large families in Europe (the memorandum of association bears the date 27 March 2004) were celebrated on Saturday 15 June with a mega cake.

One thousand and more children and teenagers who grew up in large families with their relatives gathered in Oltremare Riccione at the weekend to celebrate twenty years of life of Anfn – the association that gathers and gives voice to large Italian families – which, for the occasion, gave its members free entry tickets to the Aquafan and Oltremare theme parks for two days. And many families responded to the appeal, coming from every corner of Italy.

Within the celebration, ANFN also planned some community moments, such as the round table ‘Large families in Europe’, with Regina Maroncelli Florio, president of Elfac Italy, Raul Sanchez, secretary general of Elfac (Spain), Elisabeth Mueller, vice-president of Elfac (Germany), Laszlo Marky, founder and honorary president of Elfac (Hungary), Alfredo Caltabiano, president of ANFN.

There are 198 million households in Europe. Those composed of a father, mother and at least three children under the age of 18 account for about 3% of all households and 12.4% of families with minor children. “Families on the verge of extinction,” Regina Maroncelli observes, “That is why for twenty years our federation has been trying to network associations and families: to represent the social and economic interests of families with children. To promote their full integration into society. To cultivate solidarity between generations’.

“The sea, spritz, jogging: even living alone is good, there is no lack of opportunities. But when you are in a couple you enter another dimension. If a child is born, the joys increase. Being four (dad, mum and two children playing with each other) is wonderful. But to be even more, five, six, seven, around a table is even better’. This was the image used by Anfn president couple Alfredo Caltabiano on Saturday afternoon when he spoke to member families before cutting the cake for the association’s 20th anniversary.

A story born around the fish counter of a Brescia supermarket. The story is told by Mario Sberna, one of the founders and long-time president of Anfn: ‘I was there, absorbed, looking at a mullet. I knew it would not end up in one of our frying pans: fresh fish was too expensive for a large family. A well-aimed blow to my trolley abruptly brought me back to reality: I turned around and looked my investor in the face. ‘You don’t know me, but I know you have five children, like me. So you will never buy that fish; together we can do many things instead’. There and then, I confess, I did not give much weight to his words. On the contrary, I dismissed him with a perfunctory nod and deluded him, or so I thought, with a ‘see you another time’ where we could explore the idea further. But I had not reckoned with the stubbornness that characterises a father of a large family. And, in fact, only a few hours later, Enrico was already ringing at the door of our house’.

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