As part of my schoolwork, I’m doing a project about a drug rehabilitation community in Italy. Everytime I do some of my project I learn about a different aspect of the community, from their daily life and how they are helped to the addicts stories and other peoples experiences when they visited. This time I covered how San Pa (it’s nickname) started, a little of it’s history and a few significant events that have made it what it is today.
Hopefully this will be the first of many blogs on San Patrignano.
I’m interested in them because I’d really like to go there one day, I would love the experience and I really want to help people and through San Pa I think I could. I think I could learn a lot from them about how to be a light in the darkness and while I’m there I might pick up a few Italian cooking tips, too.
In 1978 a man, named Vincenzo Muccioli, was concerned about the use of drugs in our world and wanted to help people who were addicted and needed some guidance and love. He invited a small group of young adults into a house his family owned, where they lived with Vincenzo and his friends, who were helping him with the project. Gradually more people wanted to come and Vincenzo and his friends found it hard to ignore their needs. The first workshops, livestock areas and gardens started to appear and slowly the little community was growing into the big, successful one it is today.
By 1982 San Patrignano was home to about 200 people housed in trailers and outbuildings, by 1992 it had multiplied its population by 10, giving it a total of 2000 residents.
On the 19th September 1995, in the midst of difficult times, Vincenzo died.
Anyhow, San Pa didn’t die, Vincenzo’s son Andrea took up his fathers role and still runs San Patrignano today. He knew it was important to keep his dads good work going.
In 1996 the first ‘Vincenzo Muccioli Challenge’ international show jumping competition was held in his honour, at the community’s equestrian centre. The next year they received certification as a non-government organization.
In 2002 and 2004 San Patrignano organized and managed a drug abuse prevention campaign for the prime minister, at last they were getting the recognition the deserved.
Every year thousands of students and professionals from Italy and all over the world go to learn more about San Pa and that gives them more contact on the internet, which helps more people to find out about them.
In 2006 Andrea Muccioli was awarded the title ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’.
Also in that year, San Pa launched the 2You project, implemented in 20 different Italian cities, teaching school age children about drug abuse.
Since ’78 the community has welcomed over 20,000 people, 70% of whom have turned drug free and gone back to live with their families really happy.
GO SAN PATRIGNANO!!!!!!!