Since 2002, From Somewhere has been producing its collections in the social Cooperativa Rinascere in Veneto, Northern Italy. Rinascere, Italian for “reborn”, is a unique not-for-profit organisation that seeks to rehabilitate disadvantaged individuals and equip them to play a fulfilling and productive role in society.
The people helped by the Cooperativa include recovering addicts, in and out patients of local psychiatric units, and others with various disabilities who would be unemployed if not for the opportunities offered by the project. Rinascere is managed by a group of volunteers who have chosen to dedicate their lives to charity and to helping others. Their aim is to provide people in need with new skills and experiences in order to help them back into the world of employment.
The project offers incalculable benefit to those involved: through training and work they build up their skills base; through encouragement and support they gain the self-esteem and self-belief that they need in order to operate in the wider world. The work provided is tailored to individuals’ needs, taking into consideration any disabilities or specific skills they may have, and varied training is provided for those without experience. There are opportunities for creative input during projects, and, through being able to problem solve and make decisions, people develop greater self-confidence and faith in their judgement, which in turn benefits and eases their day-to-day lives.
This scheme provides a safe and welcoming workplace for disadvantaged people who have been unable to engage in typical employment. Such positive surroundings and encouragement result in enthusiastic, dedicated participants who enjoy applying themselves to challenging and stimulating work. However, even more importantly, it bestows hope for their futures by providing the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to lead independent lives.