Title of Reportage

Italian women support social projects in Ethiopia/ Le donne Italiane sostengono progetti sociali in Etiopia

About Reportage

Italian women support social projects in Ethiopia

Social projects supported by Italian women in Ethiopia

In Italy there is a great deal of attention to the Ethiopian territory by NGOs and associations involved in socio-cultural aid, the causes are many, including certainly those years of history in common that inevitably created ties. By carrying out a field research in Addis Ababa and the surrounding countryside, I identified three projects in particular, which have different characteristics in common: they are aimed at social recovery in particular for young people, using fair-trade culture paths and often combine art, culture and local resources. They are not projects carried out by large international NGOs, but they are really active in the territories, they are known in Addis Ababa, thanks to the work that the operators do and the actual results they report.

The important thing is that they are innovative projects, for the new Ethiopian generations and are supported by young women.

The first is a project promoted by the IPO Association of Perugia entitled “Community Erbal-Care” which, thanks to the help of the Umbria region, is able to carry out a health initiative based on natural medicines and mobile pediatric clinics. University seminars are also organized for future Ethiopian pharmacists of the Debre-Berkan University. The project has created a laboratory and a nursery of medicinal herbs in the district of Ancober, on the plateau, in a village of 3000 inhabitants “Corobela”. The woman who supports the project together with Matteo Baraldo, one of the founders of the IPO association, and the pharmacist dr. Ludwivig Alsetta is Annachiara Vassallo who deals with communication and relations with local realities, from the design to the organization of mobile clinics.

The second “Fekat Circus”, (in Italian “Circo Fiorente”) is a recovery project that combines circus theater art, social recovery and fair trade construction. It is promoted by the “CIAI” – Italian Childhood Aid Center – and is coordinated by Giorgia Giunta. The project has been present in the center of Addis Ababa since 2004 and has given a second chance to several young people from the suburbs: the possibility of forming a professional circus company. Creating a real family allows children to work independently and to act above all in orphanages and houses of charity. In addition, the company works in hospitals operating with clown therapy. “” Smile’s medicine project “is the name of this project funded in part by Fondation Alta Mane (Switzerland), which is being carried out in the pediatric wards of the Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa. Currently the actors are involved in the construction of a room to be used as a gym and small independent theater. The construction will be done in a completely ecological way, the bricks are a mixture of mud, earth and sand, the project is by the architect of Lorenzo Fontana, promoter of a building that respects the environment.

Finally, the third is “Bosco Children”, supported by the Salesians of Don Bosco “Friends of Sidamo in mission”, coordinated by Chiara Pirola and other operators and collaborators and by her husband Paolo Patruno. They take care of the recovery of children on the street, they help them to become aware of themselves and their potential.The project follows the children by creating professional courses in iron, bamboo, wood and leather working, there is no lack of a course of study which starts from literacy and has the purpose of favoring the achievement of higher education qualifications. Thanks to the “Bosco Children” project, fair trade products are made that are distributed in Italy by “Libero Mondo” in the circuit of fair trade. The boys leave the reception center with a professionalism and independent, or continue their studies through some distance adoptions.

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