Alarm bells are ringing for voluntary organisations in the Lazio area, where funds have been drastically cut, numerous projects have been cancelled and 1.300 less voluntary positions are available.

This includes 93 fewer guides for the blind, 167 less Caritas volunteers and half of the charity financing projects applications getting the thumbs down, even the ones presented by the Comune di Roma. Also affected are the organisations assisting the poor and the homeless as well as the deaf and the dumb,

The problem is lack of funds. Until last year the projects had benefited from total financing coverage. This year, however, faced with projects involving some 75 000 volunteers, we have only been able to finance a small part of them, explains Massimo Palombi, general director of the ministry of social solidarity.

The minister of social solidarity Paolo Ferrero says that they are working on ways to muster up the funds to finance the projects that have been excluded.

There is also an alarming lack of interest among the youth to volunteer. The new voluntary fireman project Vigilo anchio failed to draw even one volunteer.