Experience of Fellowship Development efforts in Italy.
Hi, my name is Alessandro, and I am an addict. Thank you for the opportunity to share my experience. I have set up as a candidate to coordinate the new FD committee in Italy in October 2018. I did it with the vision of helping to ensure that every region of Italy could have at least one NA group. In Italy there were 5 geographical regions in which NA was not present. My work took place on several fronts and was made possible thanks to the constant collaboration of several regional and foreign servant members. The initial goal was to build and maintain a strong committee with a cohesive group, the widest possible on the national territory, composed of members with experience and enthusiasm able to welcome isolated addicts into our service meetings and help them to feel the belonging while not having a group to attend.
At the moment we are a committee in which mutual trust allows a strong unity that we pass on to newcomers: in total, we are eight elected members from five different areas of the region.
Welcoming the newcomer, directing them to online meetings towards sponsorship and building a network of telephone relationships are priorities in our Service. Secondly, to confront and constantly share with FD from other regions, to study every experience that I had the privilege of learning, translating and reporting the material I found in my region. We have organized a total of 4 Workshop Events in the Area events, a very useful survey was realized to understand the reality of NA in our region, offered support to all NA Italy service subcommittees. The committee meets once a month for an hour and a half of meeting on Zoom. Encouraging isolated members to start a group by building the logistic bases in their places, organizing open meetings on the spot and organizing service meetings according to the opening of a group remains the primary purpose that goes beyond the organizational agendas of the actions on the table.
In March 2019, a 4-member FD task team supported the creation of a group in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in the far northeast of Italy by going to the site, organizing an open meeting and a service meeting. This group currently holds a stable weekly meeting and expresses a desire to open a second meeting. We brought the second FD intervention in August 2019 to the far south of Italy in Sicily; through two addicts those have been attending our service meetings for months even though they do not have a membership group. The logistical organization of the action process was complicated by the fact that Sicily is an island.
On August 3 we managed to organize an open meeting in which we welcomed 14 newcomers to their first meeting for a total of 39 people of various origins. We were a task team consisting of 3 FD members and at this meeting, two other regional servants took part as speakers. For this action we collaborated with AA because they are present the territory already a long time. Two of these task team members remained until August 7 to support a member in opening the first NA closed meeting in Sicily. In this meeting the opening of the NA Palermo group with the name “Why are we here?” This was possible through the involvement of all those that let themselves be carried away by the loving power of our wonderful fellowship.
My personal experience is that one of the fundamental principles for an effective FD service is autonomy understood as the ability to transmit confidence in the inclination to self-help and self-support that comes from the therapeutic action of an addict who helps another. We entrust our efforts and our actions in the hands of the higher power.
I am really happy and touched by the Service that has been entrusted to me. A privilege to apply the spiritual principles of recovery in NA, is a privilege to be able to contribute effectively to the birth of new groups and therefore to the development of the fellowship in Italy region.
We will be grateful to receive all your experience. In a spirit of unity and service
Alessandro Chair FD NA Italy