" Promoting social cohesion within local communities"
The current social, cultural, demographic and economic changes are creating new forms of insecurity among individuals, making segments of the population more vulnerable, and increasing community fragmentation. Social exclusion is rising, new forms of poverty are emerging, families find it increasingly difficult to cope with their education and care-giving duties, more and more people have precarious jobs and discontinuous careers, coexistence with people from different cultures is increasingly difficult. Against this backdrop people do not easily see the positive value of relationships, especially those that have to do with participating in community life, building new forms of coexistence among different groups, developing responsibility and coming up with a common response to needs. These new challenges expose the shortcomings of existing policies that largely still reflect social and cultural set-ups of the past, and are implemented sketchily with no underlying unifying strategy.
Action Plan 14 aims at improving the wellbeing of local communities by creating or enhancing support networks and local services as well as fostering an increasingly active participation in the economic, social and cultural life of the community by larger and larger population groups. The Foundation believes that the quality of the response given to either latent or full-blown social disadvantage and the effectiveness of related prevention and protection programs can be reinforced by responsible, hospitable local communities in which all members have needs, yet at the same time embody the precious resources to be levered on in order to break the gridlock.