Comunita Progetto Sud and Cooperativa at Lamezia Terme - Report from the study visit of working group one, sector social integration, 28 March - 31 March 1996

Internet publication URL:

Hosted by Comunita Progetto Sud
(c/o Angela Regio, Nunzia Coppede and friends)
via Conforti
88046 Lamezia Terme (CZ)
phone +39-968-462 482
fax +39-968-462 520 

The comunita was founded in the 70s by disabled and non-disabled people as an alternative to accommodation in institutions and the family, because these places often did not allow the emancipation of disabled people in their everyday lives.

15 people live and work in the comunita "Lamezia-Terme", half of which are disabled persons. Many of them are wheelchair users.

The idea of founding a community in which people live and work together is actually very old, going back to the early Christians. According to this model, the last twenty years have seen the rise of many living communities of this kind in which people of different orientation and with different disabilities have formed new living structures which allow communal and private living. Another important goal is to secure the living costs of all members by means of self-help enterprises. For example, the comunita "Lamezia-Terme" runs a printing shop which produces publications for the local community and for Capodarco - also, external companies give orders for the production of advertising brochures and other things.

Furthermore, Progetto Sud runs a computer workshop in which people with different disabilities are trained to handle this new tool. This often happens at the request of the social authorities, which also pay for the community. Progetto Sud also runs a rehabilitation centre which is open to all members of the local community who are in need of physiotherapy, ergotherapy and other social and functional services to compensate for physical and psychological impairment. About 40 persons with disabilities in the Calabrian region takes advantage of the services. There is a special arrangement with the Unita Sociale Locale (U.S.L.) who pays for services. The centre employs professionals who offer rehabilitation services at Progetto Sud’s request.

These economic activities secure the living costs of the members of the comunita. The money made flows into a collective fund used for paying all expenses. Every member is entitled to a sum of approx. 200 DM per month for personal expenses.

The Study Centre, established in 1988 and situated in the main street of Lamezia Terme, collects information and experience and is at the disposal of the disabled persons, their families and professionals of local administration. One can find documents, books, audio-visual media, brochures and magazines mostly published by members of Progetto Sud.

Vehicles belong to the comunita and can also be used privately. Apart from the private apartments, all rooms, building and facilities are used communally. This saves a considerable amount of money.

The important thing is that the members of the comunita are the boss in their own businesses, a fact which ensure a large degree of autonomy. This lifestyle offers the possibility to live one’s own life without neglecting communal activities between the members of the comunita. The personal assistance required by the disabled members are given on a voluntary basis by the non-disabled persons belonging to the comunita. Voluntary helpers from other countries often come and work in the communita, taking part in the activities and giving assistance where they can.