It seems easy to be supportive…
by Jacopo FO
It seems easy to be supportive... #1Continue reading
How do they laugh in Africa? #2Continue reading
Simone, do you want to go to Mozambique? #3Continue reading
I am going to Mozambique! But to do what? #4Continue reading
The meetings #5Continue reading
Where do I start? #6Continue reading
Meeting withContinue reading
The first contacts with Mozambique #8Continue reading
Agenda first mission in Mozambique #9Continue reading
First mission: arrival in Maputo #1Continue reading
But where am I? #2Continue reading
Meeting with Alvim Cossa #3Continue reading
Teatro do Oprimido Show #4Continue reading
Meeting with the Machaka Association #5Continue reading
The Show by the Machaka Group #6Continue reading
Manuela Soeiro and the Avenida Theater #7Continue reading
Gonçalo Mabunda #8Continue reading
Meeting with the Luarte Association #9Continue reading
Luarte Show #10Continue reading
Maputo - Pemba Journey #11Continue reading
Vitor Raposo #12Continue reading
Pemba – Palma Trip #13Continue reading
Visit to the village of Quionga #14Continue reading
Visit to the village of Quirindi #15Continue reading
That wonderful beach! #16Continue reading
Visit to the village of Pundanhar #17Continue reading
The Mamãe Kit #18Continue reading
Visit to the hospital in Palma #19Continue reading
Return to Italy #20Continue reading
The project continues! #1Continue reading
How many meetings are we going to have?!? #2Continue reading
Agenda second mission in Mozambique #3Continue reading
Second mission in Mozambique, arrival at Pemba #4Continue reading
Felix Mambucho #5Continue reading
Performance Vitor Raposo and the Tambo Tambulani Tambo company #6Continue reading
Pemba – Palma Trip #7Continue reading
Performances at Palma, on with the casting! No, stop! #8Continue reading
Grupo do funzionarios #9Content Continue reading
Performances (and casting) in the village of Pundanhar #10Continue reading
Performances (and casting) in the village of Quionga #11Content Continue reading
Selecting the actors for the Italian stages #12Continue reading
Are you ready to come to Italy? #13Continue reading
The return to Italy and end of the second mission #14Continue reading
Preparing for the first training period at Alcatraz #1Continue reading
Arrival at the Libera Università di Alcatraz #2Continue reading
We begin! #3Continue reading
Mario Pirovano #4Continue reading
Acting with Mario Pirovano #5Continue reading
Arms going up on their own! #6Continue reading
A dive into the theatre #7Continue reading
Let’s tell a love story! #8Continue reading
Being an actor is hard work #9Continue reading
What days! #10Continue reading
O falso médico! #11Continue reading
We all go shopping! #12Continue reading
The performance takes shape #13Continue reading
We need an ultrasound! #14Continue reading
Rome has never been so beautiful! #15Continue reading
Second training session: the first day... #1Continue reading
The return of the Mozambicans #2Continue reading
A tragic day #3Continue reading
Memory tests with Mario Pirovano #4Continue reading
Rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals… and that script in 3 languages… #5Continue reading
First reading of the script in Swahili #6Continue reading
Just for a change, we rehearse... #7Continue reading
That damned video! #8Continue reading
In and around Perugia #9Continue reading
The last rehearsals #10Continue reading
Action! #11Continue reading
Changes to the show? Change the title?!? #1Continue reading
Confusion in Fatima’s House #2Continue reading
Preparation of the stage design #3Continue reading
Ready to go (again)? #1Continue reading
Arrival at Pemba #2Continue reading
At Palma under the palm trees (wet!) #3Continue reading
First day of the tour: Mute #4Continue reading
Second day of the tour: Pundanhar #5Continue reading
Third day of the tour: Quionga #6Continue reading
Fourth day of the tour: Palma #7Continue reading
Fifth day of the tour: Olumbe #8Continue reading
Thank you Mozambique, thank you so much! #9Continue reading
We experienced it during the “humanitarian mission” in Burkina Faso which lasted for four years and was led by Simone Canova, director of Cacao, il quotidiano delle buone notizie comiche (Cacao, The newspaper of the good humorous news). The members of an aid workers group took turns in the village of Diébougou in the north of the country. They carried no preconceived ideas, they were just trying to understand what the needs were, being at the service of the local people. Thus an informal organization was born, run by the inhabitants and supported with the money raised at the Free University of Alcatraz and by the work of aid workers themselves.
Some relatively simple actions were carried out quickly and successfully. For example, the construction of an oven was financed. And we managed to involve a group of women who took part in daily bread making for their families and who handed out snacks to children in the local elementary school. The planting of hundreds of trees was financed and two vegetable gardens and a well were built.
Surely it helped to improve living conditions but we met major cultural resistance.
We discovered that zucchini grew lush and abundant over there but then Simone told us that it was useless to cultivate them because few wanted to eat them. I wondered how it was possible that the sautéed zucchini did not charm the Burkinabé.
Another huge obstacle that we encountered was in spreading the health-conscious criteria of green architecture. Not that we wanted to export our models, but it seemed absurd that the traditional houses, with cool roofs made of straw and leaves, were abandoned in favor of roofing made of sheet metal that transformed the houses into solar ovens. But the tin roof required a lot less maintenance and had become a status symbol …
We tried to tackle the issue in an indirect way making a chicken farm, chicken breeding being a popular activity in the area: chicken is considered a luxury and a delicacy. But local chickens were all incredibly thin. It was not difficult to understand why they were so emaciated: the chicken coops were also covered with sheet metal, therefore the chickens lived in perennial saunas which reached extremely high temperatures. Quite soon we saw that those reared in the rising collective farm were much fatter and lively because a roof made of straw and wood was used instead of the sheet metal and it protected them from the sun. A relatively simple task that did not require money but only work. But the idea struggled a lot to spread.
While operating in Burkina Faso we came to realize that it was difficult to communicate, collaborate or exchange experiences even among different groups of aid workers.
A Swiss arrived in Alcatraz, he had been working for years with a Swiss non-profit organization that operates right in Burkina.
Thus we found out that they had made a colossal operation: they regained 3,500 hectares (35 million square meters) of land in process of desertification, thanks to a technology invented by Professor Venancio Vallerani ,University of Perugia (only about a stone’s throw from Alcatraz) .
This system is based on an innovative type of plough which ploughs deep creating a line of half-moon holes. The land thus overturned forms a mound at the side of the hole. The furrows are oriented in such a way that the piled-up soil shade the half-moon hole ((image from the book third world eco-technology)). In this way the furrow collects rainwater and a small quantity of moisture is retained, thorny, creeping, particularly resistant plants are sown in the half-moon holes and they are able to quickly push their roots deep.
Within a couple of years these plants grow out of the hole and can cover the space between the furrows, shading the soil and favoring the growth of weeds, insects, fungi and bacteria come and the soil retains moisture thus returning to be fertile. Then fruit-bearing plants and trees are sown in the hole. An extremely efficient system but which was almost unknown in the world of cooperation.
We began to discuss the situation, consulting with many associations and organizations to try to understand which were the initiatives that we could achieve and would bring the best results. Our goal was to contribute to spreading the best practices both among the local population and in the world of non-profit organizations. And we soon realized that it was not going to be easy to figure out what to do and then manage to carry it out.
Also because our means were very limited.
But as it often happens, by constantly attempting you end up having a stroke of luck. It’s a matter of statistics rather than skill.
Insisting is an excellent way to bring fate on your side.