Monica Barzanti

Monica Barzanti, Head of International Relations, represents San Patrignano internationally at fora, events and conferences. She graduated in Modern Foreign Languages in 1981, followed by a diploma as a professional educator. Since 1979 she has been working in San Patrignano as a volunteer, mentoring girls and young women in their recovery from drug addiction. Since 1986 she has been a member of the communications staff, organizing international events and participating in conferences in Italy and abroad as a keynote speaker. Since 1998 she has been a full-time member of the International Relations Team and coordinates and tutors study visits and workshops at the Community by schools, voluntary groups, social workers, policy makers, scholars and people working in the field of addictions, both Italian and foreign. She collaborates in the creation and implementation of Masters in addictions and in working groups with international bodies such as the Pompidou Group on mainstreaming gender perspectives in drug policies and practices. Since 2006 she has been a member of the Vienna NGO Committee, representing San Patrignano at United Nations events. She is a member of many international networks, as a consultant and expert in recovery and prevention methods and skills transfer, with a focus on gender issues.

San Patrignano is a drug-free long-term residential community for the recovery of people whose lives are affected by a substance use disorder: for more than 40 years it has been offering help and support to young people with drug issues.  It was founded by Vincenzo Muccioli in 1978 and has since welcomed more than 26,000 people, providing them with a home, the warmth of a family, health care, legal assistance and the chance to study and learn a trade, giving them the chance to change their lives and become part of society again as full members. All this is free of charge, at no cost to the state or to the families. There are currently 1,000 people in San Patrignano, but the average number of residents is around 1,200 (the number has decreased due to the pandemic that prevented new residents from being accepted for some months). It is a model of social enterprise, created by the hard commitment and will of thousands of young people who rebuild their dignity and self-esteem here.

San Patrignano offers everyone the chance to choose from a variety of training experiences the one that best suits their aptitudes. The recovery model follows an educational path, based on the recognition of universal values. In addition to rehabilitation and training activities, San Patrignano's mission includes a strong commitment to drug prevention, a program that is renewed annually and reaches over 50,000 students throughout Italy through visits, meetings and theatre performances.