Miriam Ferrara and Giuseppe Bruno are two of the LUISS students who decided last October to join the project Working for Lawfulness, committing to work for several months as bartenders and servers in several commercial establishments in Rome that have been seized by legal authorities.
Like Volontariamente, the Oversight Body on Lawfulness and a series of university conferences on The Paths of Lawfulness from Professor Paola Severino (the last of which, on the fight against corruption, will be held on Thursday, January 15 at 3:00 p.m. in the Aula Magna at Viale Pola), Working for Lawfulness will also be part of a larger project at the university that actively involves LUISS students. Miriam and Giuseppe, both of whom are in their fifth year of Law, have decided to take part in this activity not just to develop their practical skills but to take part in an experience that is ethically important and which impacts society.
Miriam decided to sign up in order to tackle work that is different from the kind of work that law students do in their internships at legal firms. Her decision led her to a restaurant in the center of Rome, where she works as a waitress: "Despite early practical difficulties, I immediately found myself at ease. During the Christmas season there was a ton of work and I didn’t stop for even a minute, but it was all made a lot easier and more enjoyable by the cheerfulness and friendliness of my colleagues."
"The idea of hands-on work, which is outside the usual law student environment, aside from the fact that it was ‘for’ something and not just for myself, really intrigued me," says Giuseppe, who since December has worked in an ice cream shop around the corner from Piazza Navona. "I knew only that this bar had been seized and that it had only been under entirely lawful management for a short time. I saw my arrival there as evidence of this new opportunity."
This is the first time either of them have been employees in a retail business, and the fact that these are local businesses that have been redirected onto the path of lawfulness made the experience more significant. "I hardly ever felt the difficult situation in which the management of the place found itself because the environment is pleasant and full of laughter," says Miriam. "Most of the staff come from all over the world and this allowed me to get to know other cultures and customs."
Giuseppe has also worked with people from all over the world: "Some of them were from Bangladesh, some from India, some from Morocco and some from Tor Bella Monaca. Between my first cappuccino, which wasn’t very good, and my first ice cream cone, which I broke, I found myself in an environment that continues to enrich me every time that I go there to do my two shifts a week."
Work, respect for the law and multiculturalism are the three concepts that the students have really gotten to know over the course of this experience.
Miriam does not exclude the possibility of doing it again in the months after she graduates, "even just to earn something or to gain experience speaking another language abroad." Giuseppe defines it as a little Erasmus in Italy: "I can’t help but hope that this project will involve even more students, offering them the wonderful opportunity that was offered to me."