Second European Social Inclusion Day

 On Friday, September 6, the second European Meeting of officials responsible for the Hospitaller Order's facilities offering assistance to the homeless and the marginalised was convened in Madrid, at the Castile Provincial Curia. The day was promoted and organised by the Order?s European Office in Brussels, in conjunction with the Spanish Interprovincial Commission-Fondazione Juan Ciudad.

For the second consecutive year, this meeting attracted a wide audience and a great deal of interest from Religious, co-workers and volunteers operating in the Order?s reception and support centres, with 40 people attending not only from Spain, but also from Portugal, Italy, Germany, France and Poland.

The meeting opened with an address of welcome by Brother Rudolf Knopp (General Councillor), Brother Victor Martín (Interprovincial Commission) and Brother Miguel Ángel Varona Alonso (Castile Province). The first part of the day addressed issues relating to ?Hospitality as the response to new forms of poverty? (Brother Juan Antonio Diego Esquivias), the European Social Fund (Dr. Berta Lago ? Autonomous Community of Madrid), and the European Union?s policies and instruments for combating poverty, which was addressed by the Spanish MEP Veronica Lope-Fontagné.

After the presentation of the Order?s new recently opened Hospitality Centre in Barcelona (Joan Uribe) and the work of the Tiber Island Hospital?s Social Service in Rome (Chiara Caprini), Dr. Carlo Galasso explained the contents of the project drawn up by the Order?s Brussels Office financed by European Commission at the beginning of July, as the first project in which the Order?s centres assisting the homeless in Europe will be taking part.

The rest of the day provided yet another opportunity for the participants to engage in debate and discussions, and to describe the activities and novelties relating to their own centres, and to present proposals to be developed in the form of new European projects. 

At the end of the day, Dr Galasso offered his thanks to all the attendees for the interest they had shown and for their contributions, together with Brother Victor Martín, Dr David Lopez and the co-workers on the Interprovincial Commission-Fondazione Juan Ciudad for their superb support in organising the day?s meeting.



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