Thursday 13 July 2017
RImPRESA– The support to resume autonomously

Let’s continue to discover the results of the RImPRESA project waiting to meet all the protagonists of the project and enjoy their products at the RImPRESA PARTY on the 2nd July 2017!

We carry on from the warehouse – On the 5th May the 5KW electric generator and shelving for tools was delivered to Giuseppe, an Arquata del Tronto’s construction businessman. During the earthquake, the warehouse had suffered the biggest damage. Now, Giuseppe can resume work autonomously and also contribute in reconstruction of houses and other in such a delicate moment.

Solidarity within Solidarity – In this story of support, as in some other stories of the project, there is another one. The goods donated to Giuseppe were purchased at another company, the one of Libertino from Accumuli, also affected by the earthquake, which is beginning to return to business.


This is one of the added value of the RImPRESA project and of the reciprocity of aid: the activation of a virtuous circle that allows individual companies to restart and, with the purchase and sale of goods and services from nearby companies, sustain one another.


Click here to the project card

Monday 3 July 2017
R stands for RImPRESA (project) and for Reciprocity

What is Reciprocity in AMU Projects?

For some time now, international cooperation has set as its guiding principle the sustainability of projects extended over the specific period of intervention.
In this perspective, to highlight its founding principles of generosity, mutual aid and attention to interpersonal relationships, AMU adds in its interventions that of “reciprocity” between the beneficiaries themselves or between them and other people in vulnerable situations, between beneficiaries and supporters, or between communities.
Who receives the benefits of AMU projects is also committed to give something of themselves to others who need it. In particular, those who participate in productive programs creating employment opportunities, agree to contribute to a Project Mutual Fund through which they support other productive activities or projects with a social impact, in accordance with the principles of the Economy of Communion.
This support can be made through a monetary contribution, as soon as the company’s conditions allow it, or in non-monetary form: the supply of goods and/or services, professional services, consultancies, donation of their time or other. Each person is free to decide what he/she can and wants to donate, to generate this reciprocity, transferring this choice into a concrete commitment.
In the case of the RImPRESA project, this also meant, in some situations, the purchase of supplies and services necessary to start a business directly from another area that had suffered damage from the earthquake, thus creating a network of collaborative relationships between people who have benefited from it.
The RImPRESA project has also accompanied some entrepreneurs in creating an association between themselves aimed at sharing – even from a legal point of view – the means of transport and the equipment donated by the project, so that it was not only an individual to benefit from it, but that the donated goods were a way to promote the cooperation between businesses and between people.

Monday 26 June 2017
Sustainable tourism – Discovering the traditions of Northern Argentina

The Sustainable Tourism Program of North Argentina (read the project’s description here) continues and new regions and micro-enterprises are joining the project. From the official website of the project, we want to share the story of the local team’s visit to the northern micro region of Salteño.

As always, new projects, projects underway or in preparation, are designed together with the local communities who want to tell their story through their products, opening to tourists, but always safeguarding the spirit of traditions.

The original post is called “AGUATA ME – EL NORTE EN MARCHA“, which in Guaranì means “On the Way – The North on the Run”. Let’s try to share it beyond the literal translation.

The Guaranis population is characterized by excellent craftsmen and farmers. They learn their trades through the teachings that the KAA (or mountain) transmits through the elders, as they were secrets. Whether it is the bejuco, obtained from the vine on the hill for the production of baskets and wooden furniture, or the foods that grow on the fence (or garden), each product is the result of their work in respect of nature and love for the Guarani culture.

For this reason, the local groups prefer to sell their products to consumers who can appreciate the ecological and inclusive productions, and that they understand that the harvest has a direct impact on the economy of local households.

Three strengthening projects; three opportunities to grow!

The Yariguarenda Group has begun to implement two projects that strengthen entrepreneurship and meet the needs of regional visitors. The first is the development of mountain bike trails in the woods, while the other aims to build the Visitor Centre from which the tourist activities will be organised and the local crafts sold.

In addition, Peña Morada’s Guarani community is conducting the closure of the Salon Artesanal project for the development of recreational activities and exhibitions. They are also assessing the availability of funds for the construction of new visitor centre facilities.

Open doors on an ancient ritual.

During the visit, the team also met “Salamanca”, an association of beekeepers and craftsmen of wood and wicker that is promoting the enhancement of Guarani culture. The organization worked with great effort to save the ARETE Guazú (Guarani ancestral rite) by fostering the encounter between religious communities. Currently, the group is considering the opportunity to share this experience with tourists, as long as it is possible to safeguard its symbolic meaning.

Monday 15 May 2017
New homes in the Philippines after the Yolanda-Haiyan typhoon in the Visayas Islands

Already at the end of 2013, thanks to your help, AMU had been able to cope with the severe problems caused by the typhoon and support local people.

During the first months of the emergency phase, over 2,600 boxes were distributed with long lasting food supply, medicines, bottled water, electric torches, waterproof tarpaulins, mosquito nets, mattresses, blankets, clothing and personal hygiene products to the families of Panay and Leyte Islands.

Subsequently, a mid-term and long-term project phase began with AFNonlus – Action for New Families Association Onlus, committed to reconstruct some of the homes that were completely destroyed or heavily damaged by the typhoon. In the meanwhile AMU delivered 20 scholarships to facilitate and allow access to education for girls and boys from poor families affected by the typhoon.
The key aspect was therefore to think about making these populations less vulnerable to future events, providing them with material infrastructures such as homes, but also with training and a preparation to improve their own economic conditions and that of their community.

What happens now?

Three families of the local community that used to reside on informal land, in shacks, before the typhoon, haven’t had so far the economic opportunity to rebuild a solid home, despite having managed for the past two years to find some sort of housing or to repair somehow their own home.

For this reason, in May 2017, thanks to the donations that AMU has already received, a project for the reconstruction of homes for typhoon victims has begun. The project is expected to end in early 2018.

The stories of the beneficiary families

Alan’s Family – Before the typhoon they lived in a shack near the sea, but it was completely swept away by typhoon. In the tragedy he lost everything but his family members were saved and were accommodated in one of the community families, also struck by the typhoon. Recently,
Alan died of a tumour, and his wife has to take care of their four children, all in schooling age.
Anna’s family – They live in an illegal shack in a poor area of the city, they do not own the land and they could be evicted at any time. They have repaired the house the best they could, and to this day the shack is shared between the parents, 3 children and the companion and the son of one of them. They live on the poor earnings of her father’s work as a street vendor of food snacks, and Anna’s work as a parish secretary: a total of 5 Euros per day. The other children, married, live in precarious economic situations as well and can only sometimes help their parents.
Josefa’s family – They live in a shack on land that is not owned by them, in a narrow alley and with little light and air. “With the donations we received earlier, we could buy a small 70 sq m plot in a more secure area, and we have a small but dignified cottage project.”
The spirit of fraternity has also sparked the local families who had already solved their problems. So a family that had their home already repaired, offered to shelter Alan’s family up to the construction of their home. Another family of the community, having a large enough land, decided to give a share of it to build other houses for other families.

With the spirit of participation and reciprocity, the candidate families will, depending on their potential, contribute with workforce or economic contribution to the cost of building their home.

Thursday 4 May 2017
Doing business is an adventure!

Entrepreneurs are born or made? Two stories from Brazil

The Strengthening Program of Businesses of Inclusion and Communion (Profor) aims to support entrepreneurial initiatives with the characteristic of social inclusion and communion. The Program offers selected projects technical training and accompaniment, in addition to initial capital. To date, 10 companies have been selected and Roberto Luna, called “Campo Fertil”, is one of these.

Roberto lives in Garanhuns, north-east of Brazil, with his wife Danielle and their three children. He is an entrepreneur in the agricultural sector, but he is not quite common. Passionate about agricultural work and full of enthusiasm, after agronomic studies has started working in the sector. In time he managed to create a small company with various employees. One day, however, the company lost its main customer, and Roberto suddenly faced heavy debts.
In that situation he could no longer pay people to work, and he offered to his employees to become partners to carry on the job and divide the profits. Only 2 out of 10 people agreed, but it was enough to start over. “With these two people, Roberto tells us, little by little a model of partnership and collaboration has developed.” Together with his partners, he developed an innovative way of working and management (more…)