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ITALY: Salesian-run Soggiorno Proposta Recovery Community provides residential programs for youth struggling with addiction

(MissionNewswire) The Salesian-run Soggiorno Proposta Recovery Community in Ortona, a coastal town in the Abruzzo region of Italy, provides education, therapy and residential activities for youth who are trying to heal from addictions. The center has been active for 35 years and offers four different options for youth depending on their needs.

These options include: a 15-month residential program with three months of support during reintegration; a shorter 12-month program with three months of reintegration support; a four to five-month program for specific therapeutic objectives and in cases of recurrence; and a new module for the recovery from compulsive- and web-addictions.

Each of the recovery options are youth-centered and rely on participation in program activities which are focused on the normal tasks of daily life including following rules, daily work and sharing space with peers. The options offer a balance between individualized programing and group dynamics.

Therapeutic and educational tools are used throughout various stages of the residential program. These focus on different aspects of the individual including the psychological, relational, cultural and professional as well as leisure time.

Each part of the program is divided into different modules ranging from what is called reception, where the participant begins to deal with the lack of his dependence, to that of trust-awareness, where the participant autonomously makes the decision to continue the program and go on to examine the problems that existed before the use of substances.

Next, participants focus on responsibility and engage in service tasks which lead them to identify a personal life project outside the community. Finally, participants begin to plan gradual reintegration into their communities with the support and assistance of educators and sometimes their families. The timing of passage from one step to the next is determined by the interaction between the center’s team and the participant and is in relation to the progress made.

“Many of the youth in the program are at-risk of heading down an unproductive path in life,” explains Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions. “Through therapeutic and educational programming, youth are learning to take responsibility for their lives, make a positive change and have hope for the future.”

In Italy, young people who are unemployed and not in school or training programs represent 20 percent of the population. Vocational training is as an educational path that serves as a highly effective bridge between school and work.

Italy, Europe’s third-largest economy, has close to 2 million children living in poverty, according to UNICEF. The poverty rate has risen in the wake of Europe’s economic crisis. Unemployment is at its highest level since the late 1970s with the overall jobless rate at 12.5 percent and youth unemployment as high as 41 percent.

Salesian programs across Italy help youth who are unable to attend school and others who drop out to work at the few jobs available to them. A growing number of children work as laborers on farms and others have turned to the sex trade to help support their families. Those in poverty often live without adequate shelter, hot water, regular meals and health care.

According to UNICEF, a growing number of youth are living away from their families in temporary shelters and within government and charity programs because of inadequate support from or neglect by their families. Salesian programs work to combat these challenges by providing shelter, nutrition, education and workforce development services for youth in need.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

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UNICEF – Italy Poverty