The Family Association Forum in the Lazio region inaugurated the First Family meeting entitled “A Summer in the Family”, an initiative which was much needed in the cultural panorama in the Capital.
It was held over five days from 10th July-14th July at the Salesian Institute Pius XI in Via Umbertide, 11 (Tuscolana area) with the Diocese of Rome, the Pontifical Council for the Family and Lazio Region as patrons of the event.
The family in Italy today, (and Rome is a perfect example), is undergoing various attacks at various levels: anthropological, economical and morally which put into question the survival of the family itself. The family, in the Italian Constitution has a high recognition, but continues to remain distant from political horizons and society itself.
Consequently, there was a necessity to re-construct a new cultural terrain for the family, a cultural environment where it would be possible to discover the beauty, the social subjectivity of the family, still a precious resource. Summer with the family has been our concrete response to this. Over five days there were meetings, events, games, workshops, sport and shows where the family was the centre of attention and the protagonist. It provided a moment for reflection, an opportunity to consult experts, sport, animation, exhibitions, information stands with various associations and also moments of spirituality.
On the day of the inauguration a symbolic gift was given to the City of Rome to represent the gift of the families living in Rome, a gift to be recognised, appreciated and given the right value that it deserves. The meeting aimed to do this through various expressive and cultural moments.
There were many guests who participated in the events and meetings: Stefano Zamagni, Raimondo Cagiano De Azevedo, Francesco Belletti, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar of the Pope and Diocese of Rome, Mons. Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Costanza Miriano, Safiria Leccese, Elisa Manna, Beatrice Fazi and many political figures such as Savino Pezzotta, Olimpia Tarzia and Gianluigi De Palo and various representatives and presidents of associations.
Politikamente, a political citizenship school organised by the Forum and met with great success. It was dedicated to the young and prepared by young people. Delicate issues such as work, training and housing were also discussed. A dialogue with the political world at all territorial levels, and with experts to discuss the root of the problems and an attempt to give concrete answers.
The satisfactory results and approval of the participants confirmed that the First Meeting of the Family was a great success: numerous participants from associations, good all-round organisation and above all the enthusiasm it transmitted. The gift made to the City of Rome is a tangible sign of vitality and resources.
The meeting gave to the Forum, to institutions and to public opinion a clear message: that the family exists, it wants to exist and that the young want to have families of their own. A message like this, cannot leave people indifferent (despite diverging voices and opinions). There is a thirst for the family, for the future and for rights. The only flaw was the absence of representatives of the local government.
Despite it being its first edition the numbers were comforting: 50 events, 160 volunteers, and more than 2,500 visitors. The experience was strong and intense and we are already working on the second edition of the Meeting.
(*) President of Family Association Forum in Lazio