Trentino (Italy): Sixth meeting of the Family Districts

The first Family District was set up in Val Rendena in 2010 and there are now 19 Family Districts in Trentino. In 11 years they have involved over 900 organisations, 73% of which are private and 27% public, and hundreds of actions have been carried out for the well-being of families and communities to stimulate the social, cultural and, last but not least, economic development of the territory.

The sixth meeting of the Family Districts was held on the 27th. of September at the Municipal Theatre in Pergine Valsugana. The meeting was opened by Luciano Malfer, Director General of the Provincial Agency for Social Cohesion, Family and Birth: “Our Agency, on behalf of the Provincial Council, – he said – designs and promotes tools to help families and young people to realise their life projects. The birth rate in Trentino is above average compared to the national average, and the demographic picture is that from 2010 to 2020 families with one child will decline, while those with two children will remain constant and those with three children will increase. The population is growing in Trentino because of the attractiveness of family-work balance services and the concrete support given to families with many measures: economic incentives, measures to harmonise life and work (company crèches, flexible working hours, etc.).”.

The Trentino Family Quality System encompasses the so-called 4 “welfares”: state / territorial / family / company. The family districts are a territorial development policy: today 969 organisations belonging to for/non profit, hotels, sports associations, municipalities, agritourism, tourism boards, museums and much more adhere to it. There are no financial resources from the Province, but the structures themselves manage their own budgets to develop projects. The districts draw up an annual plan and at the end of the year there is a review of the work done. Each year, they activate an average of 350 activities on the themes of territorial welfare, environment and quality of life, communication and educational community. The districts also create “relational capital”, an invaluable networking tool for their effectiveness in the area, now supported by an innovative figure: the Territorial Manager.

Some examples of projects implemented in recent years: Ski family, which provides free access to the ski slopes to underage children in exchange for an adult ski pass from one parent; Coliving, which exploits vacant housing stock to repopulate peripheral and mountain communities; Baby little homes to help mothers with nappy changing and breastfeeding, family-friendly mountain and cycle paths, the EuregioFamilyPass with reduced fares and discounts for families on transport, museums/castles, restaurants, swimming pools, etc. , the cultural voucher and the sports voucher to support families in need.

This was followed by various testimonials from the local area:

Paola Mora, President of Coni Trento, presented the new Family District for Sport: “Sport – she said – permeates our lives and is an element of strong social aggregation, it is health and wellbeing for the whole community, it is inclusive and universal. With 120,000 professional sports volunteers, Trentino is at the top of the national ranking. Sport is a vehicle for identifying social and economic hardship in families and, to combat the early abandonment of sport, the Province has intervened with the Sports Voucher, an economic measure to support families in need, and with the Ski family and Swim family discounted rates”.

Matteo Lotti, Virtus Altogarda Minibasket Instructor, presented “The national network of coaches to kindness”, which works to create relationships of trust between coaches, children and their families: “We teach, for example, respect for the team, the rules and the opponents, and no matter the result of the game according to the value “it is more important to participate than to win”.

Paola Delrio, from the Provincial Agency for the Environment, illustrated the provincial strategy to promote a new culture of sustainability according to the UN’s 2030 Agenda. “Three – she said – are the cornerstones: economic-environmental-social sustainability with five strategic areas: Trentino is greener, more connected, more social and closer to citizens. In addition, a call for tenders on environmental issues is under way with the Family Agency and the involvement of the Family Districts”. Francesca Parolari, Director Asif Chimelli of Pergine, presented the newborn Family Audit District of Alta Valsugana: “We have,” she said, “13 companies, 5 of which are public and 8 private, that have obtained the ‘Family Audit’ certification, which aims to introduce new tools to reconcile work and life times (e.g. flexible working hours, teleworking, company nurseries, equal opportunities, time bank, etc.) to improve the corporate climate and organisational well-being.

Andrea Dellai, president of the Colle San Biagio Association in Levico Terme, presented a generative welfare project based on agriculture and social inclusion. Paolo Campagnano, director of Impact Hub Trentino, illustrated the Alta Valsugana Smart Valley project, which is a co-working space in synergy with the Casse Rurali. “Two hubs are currently active: in Levico and Tenna and the next one in Vigolo Vattaro. They are unused spaces of the Rural Bank Alta Valsugana and transformed into places available for three categories: for those who need to do smart working but do not have a suitable home due to problems of connections, cohabitation, etc.; for self-employed workers who are looking for spaces where they can work and network; for tourists who want to do workation, i.e. work and holiday at the same time”.

In the conclusion, Paola Pisoni, president of the Forum of Family Associations of Trentino, and Federico Samaden, president of the Franco Demarchi Foundation, handed out the certificates to the local managers. The 7th Meeting of the Family Districts will take place Val Randena Family District in 2022.

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