Dutch delegation visiting the social cooperatives of the region

From 14 to 16 November, Legacoop Emilia-Romagna welcomed a group of 25 Dutch guests visiting Bologna for a study tour on social cooperatives with focus on activities that promote the job inclusion of disadvantaged people.

The group consisted predominantly of managers of large public-participated social enterprises, associated with Cedris, the Dutch national association for social employment and the reintegration of people with different levels of disability. The group also included representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, municipalities that are part of the board of directors of the companies, the National Agency for Employment and Cedris itself. The visit was organized by Diamond Group, a society that favors the job placement and participation of people considered far from the labour market. The companies that participated are mainly active in the field of green cleaning services, laundry and waste collection in the south of the Netherlands.

The specific objective of the visit was to get to know our experiences of sheltered workshops of social cooperatives and it was an important opportunity for mutual exchange, given some diversities that characterize the two systems. Emiliano Galanti, Head of Welfare Area of Legacoop Romagna has illustrated the characteristics of the cooperative system in Italy and in particular of social cooperatives. The group had the opportunity to visit several local cooperatives: AnimaSocial Cooperative and their “Locanda Smeraldi” for lunch; Copaps Cooperative, its flower nursery of Ca ‘ Del Bosco, and lunch at the Agriturismo “Il Monte” following a meeting with Dr. Rubini, head of sheltered workshops; Il Martin Pescatore cooperative and their sheltered workshops of joinery, furniture restoration, gardening and tailoring where the group of visitors has been able to listen to the experiences of the people who work in the laboratories by fully grasping the important role that the cooperatives occupy in their lives. Finally, the visit to Virtual Coop and the various areas of data processing and digitisation services, followed by lunch at the Osteria La Buca Del Pallone run by La Piccola Carovana social cooperative.