GreenAbility “Green Abilities to tackle social issue
Finanziato nell’ambito del Programma Europeo ERASMUS+ - Strategic Partnerships for adult education.
Persona di contatto
Corinna Viola (DUEE-SPS-MPE)
Energy poverty is an increasing socio-economic problem affecting over 50 million households in the European Union and 1 out of 10 Eu citizens. It has severe health and environmental implications which have an impact on both low-income households and on Third Sector Organizations (TSOs) providing social services for children, youths, the elderly, families, disabled and disadvantaged people, both at their home and inside dedicated structures like care homes.
Defined by EU as a set of conditions where ‘individuals or households are not able to adequately heat or provide other required energy services in their homes at affordable cost’, energy poverty is a key societal challenge to be addressed urgently.
In poor households it can be done by providing advice, assistance and contacts and allowing access to services (financial resources, specific information points etc.), which in many cases are unknown to families.
While, if seen from the point of view of vulnerable people hosted in or attending in dedicated structures, energy poverty means, for instance, that energy related costs (bills, maintenance etc.) can represent an expenditure voice which has a strong impact on the budgets of TSOs themselves thus hindering their social action.
In this respect a combination of social and environmental support and aid is required and suggests significant learning opportunities to transfer aspects related to environment to complement social expertise of TSOs in order to tackle energy poverty.
Issues like energy affordability and thermal efficiency, financial support for energy efficiency and maintenance interventions, purchase of more energy-efficient household appliances and adoption of sustainable practices and behaviors, call for specific upskilling competences which social operators, caregivers and volunteers can acquire to provide solutions, which, even not directly connected to the primary social assistance, could anyway integrate classic welfare activities to boost social inclusion.
GREENABILITY project addresses these problems, through the identification of the most critical energy poverty issues which have a direct or indirect impact on life quality and wellbeing of poor households and disadvantaged people and of their level of social inclusion.
The project provides to beneficiaries – that is managers of TSOs, social workers, caregivers, volunteers – approaches, best practices and expertise included in two toolkits containing an array of solutions through a specialized educational activity adopting a correct and non-technical language, applicable to their work.
The project consists of an education program involving three EU countries, based on collaboration and exchange among partners which are expert in providing social services, starting from an environmental approach, and in facing these issues both in their relation to low-income families (Rèseau Eco Habitat in France and Ecodès in Spain) and inside communities hosting vulnerable people in specific care homes (Fratello Sole in Italy).
The project takes also advantage of the value added by the cooperation with ENEA, the Italian Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development which is fully engaged in energy poverty issues at European level.
The GREENABILITY partnership has developed ready-to-use solutions which can bring results and social and environmental benefits and support to Third Sector Organizations in their work to face a social problem which is right in the agenda of all European countries and its strictly related to social inclusion and to other urgent matters like climate change and environment protection.