The ISCOS Emilia-Romagna Committee is born in 1990 on the initiative and effort of Enrico Giusti, a CISL trade unionist who passed away in October 2007.
Indeed, during the 80’s, Enrico opened the dialogue with the Brazilian trade union CUT (Central Unica dos Trabalhadores) that had just emerged from the underground to which it had been relegated by the military dictatorship. Ever since, the CUT leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (current president of Brazil), has always been a great friend of Enrico’s. The cooperative connection, aside from innumerable meetings and trade union exchanges between CUT and CISL, also materialised through the building of the “Trade Union School 7th of October” in Belo Horizonte, in collaboration with CISL and FIM (Italian Metallurgical Workers Federation). In the same years still, Enrico starts to build the foundations of various solidarity projects linked to the protection of the underage and adolescents, with particular attention to the issue of labour. Even today, many of Enrico’s initiatives still form the basis of the day-to-day work of ISCOS E.R.
Right from the start, the type of international cooperation chosen by ISCOS E.R. has been based on a relation of reciprocity and exchange with the other, convinced by the fact that we either change together or we don’t change at all. It is hence a cooperation centred on this relation between communities which makes us call our convictions into question, our concepts of life and development, before going out to teach someone else something.
It is thus also by political choice that ISCOS E.R. doesn’t have offices or staff abroad, but realises its own projects in close collaboration with the local partners with whom it works.
Many of the projects of ISCOS E.R. are ‘open’ projects thanks to their self-financing and the contribution of the CISL groups and structures, which allows us to develop the intervention together and to modulate it without rigid schedules, forced deadlines, unlikely results. For our way of doing development cooperation, the variable ‘time’ is fundamental, we know only too well that the changes, above all the social and organisational ones, are slow at yielding fruit. It is the time that turns solidarity into reciprocity, by jointly organising actions and establishing relations.
Enrico Giusti: the memory of Piero Ragazzini
Biographical note (by ISCOS E.R.)
Letter of condolence by the President of Brazil, Lula
Agreement protocol CISL – CUT (in italiano)- marzo 2008