“Less than a year after President Juncker announced his idea to create a European Solidarity Corps, it is up and running, delivering relief to people who need it. Norcia and its citizens have suffered greatly, and I am proud of the young Europeans who are showing solidarity by helping this community recover. I am looking forward to seeing the projects myself and to meeting the volunteers and local authorities during my visit on 4 and 5 September. With their efforts, especially to rebuild the historic Basilica of San Benedetto, these young people are also building a bridge from Europe’s past to its future, an important contribution to the upcoming European Year of Cultural Heritage.” Said Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics.
The first group of European Solidarity Corps volunteers is arriving in Norcia, Italy, to help with the ongoing efforts to repair damage and rebuild social services for the local community affected by the severe earthquakes that hit the region a year ago.
The 16 young European Solidarity Corps volunteers – participating in the project ‘European Youth for Norcia’ led by Italian organisation ‘Kora’ – will help reconstruct historic buildings heavily damaged by the earthquakes, including the Basilica of San Benedetto and the Monastery of the Benedictines. They will also work with the young and the elderly of Norcia, organising workshops, outdoor activities and cultural events.
The volunteers heading to Norcia come from Austria, France, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, and Spain. The project they are participating in is one of three projects under the European Solidarity Corps currently selected for activities in the Italian regions affected by earthquakes. In September this year, additional European Solidarity Corps members will join the other two projects, led by the organisation Arci Culture Solidari and the Municipality of Pescara respectively. In total, 230 European Solidarity Corps members will support Italian communities hit by the earthquakes until 2020, and €790,000 has been granted for these projects.