The ‘Christian Service’ of Riesi comes into possession of an asset seized to the mafia

Rome (NEV /, January 24, 2020 – Gianluca Fiusco, director of the ‘Christian Service’ of Riesi, in the province of Caltanissetta (Sicily), opens the door of the property seized to a mafia boss, condemned to life imprisonment for massacre and murder. The center was created in 1961 from a visionary idea by pastor Tullio Vinay, and has become over time an educational reference point (preschool and primary school), a social and rehabilitation center (with a new diagnostic department), and a work center (marketing of biological products of the territory).
“This challenge was born in 2018 – says Fiusco, who has been the Christian Service director for the last 12 years – when we chose to participate in the tender announced by the municipality of Riesi for the assignment of the property seized from the local boss: first time this happened in our Municipality. We were eligible and winners. That was a good thing on the one side, because we met all the requirements, and a bad one on the other, because we were the only participants. A signal that better describes the rhetoric of the anti-mafia in these areas, where there is a seemingly strong opposition to ‘Cosa Nostra’, but where reality shows that only a few take this seriously”.
The project to reuse the property, a three-story house in degraded conditions, includes an info-point, a youth information center and a co-working site. All activities designed for the new generations because, insists the director Fiusco, “the real challenge is to try to stem the emptying of these lands. The impression is that there is little political understanding, at any level, of the urgent problems we face. An empty territory becomes the prey of barbarians, of the lawless, and our attempt is to create opportunities, with our limits and our limited means. But with the help of many people who have understood the price at stake and come to us to help either physically or through donations, our hopes can try to become concrete”.
First, however, the site must be made usable: “After various contacts with architects, teachers, institutions and with the Polytechnic of Turin – subjects who have shown great interest in the project – students and teachers of the ‘Servizio Cristiano’ will realize next summer, during a summer school, the renovation of the ground floor, which we do not want to transform into a mausoleum, but into a living place, a point of attraction, aggregation, social and work sharing”.