Rome (NEV), February 15, 2020 – More climate, less migrants. This is one of the data that emerges from a first analysis of the requests for funding presented to the Eighth per thousand of the Waldensian Church – union of Methodist and Waldensian churches. The 2020 call for tender closed on January 31st. The participants are very different subjects: very small entities, family run non-profit organizations, large dimensions non-governmental organizations.
Manuela Vinay, in charge of the Eight per thousand Office (OPM), declared to the NEV Agency that – despite the new limits on the number of projects presentable by each organization and the more restrictive constraints – this year the number of applications raised from 3974 to 4596 (3560 for Italy, 1036 for abroad). The interesting data is that the number of projects for the protection of the environment has almost doubled this year: from 57 raised to 107, that is an increase of 46 per cent. Also for foreign projects there has been an increase of 22% for the environmental area. However, there is also a negative figure and it is the 17% drop in requests for the inclusion and reception of migrants and refugees. Evidently, the speeches of hatred and racism also have consequences for the real activities that are being done for integration.
There is a fixed rule, imposed by the Waldensian Synod: the 60% of the initiatives funded take place in Italy and the 40% abroad. The rationale is to redistribute the resources received by Italian citizens – the Italian taxpayers make all the business possible – in greater percentage on the Italian territory.
After an investigation phase to verify the correct presentation of the applications, a Commission of the Waldensian Board will start the evaluation of each projects. The approved projects will be presented to the next Synod (to be held at the end of August in Torre Pellice) and finally, by the first half of September, the full list will be published on the website www.ottopermillevaldese.org.
The Waldensian and Methodist churches since 1993 have been collecting the eight per thousand funds – the share of personal income tax revenues – which the Italian State distributes, based on the choices made by taxpayers, to religious confessions that have entered into an agreement. The funds collected are not used for worship purposes, for the building or maintenance of churches or for the wages of pastors. In 2019, the funds received and redistributed by the Union of Methodist and Waldensian churches were 43 million Euros, corresponding to 3.22% of the total choices made by taxpayers.