Since the end of conscription in January this year, there has been fewer young people signing up for community service, once the official alternative to military service. Now a national civil voluntary service has been set up for people from 18 to 27 who wish to dedicate 12 months to voluntary service. The Rome city council has just launched 24 projects that will offer 274 places for these young people.

The projects include working with drug addicts, assisting prison-lending library schemes, improving communications between the public and the council offices, promoting information on workers' rights among temporary workers and newly-arrived immigrants, aiding elderly and disabled people to take advantage of the city services and assisting the city veterinary service to solve the problems relating to animals and birds in the city.

The young workers will be paid 433.80 monthly and anyone interested should see www.serviziocivile.it or call the Rome call centre tel. 060606.