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Documentario "Ubuntu. Io sono perché noi siamo"

  • 0:29 - 0:32
    Spring 2017,
    in the province of Florence,
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    life in Poggio alla Croce is turned upside
    down by the announcement of the arrival
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    of a group of migrants.
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    Between fear, anger and indifference,
    inhabitants are looking for a solution.
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    (Background music and kitchen noises)
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    I AM BECAUSE WE ARE
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    Piera, a resident in Poggio alla Croce
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    In these last few years a lot has changed
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    Things were different before
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    people were different
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    They often came into the centre.
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    Now they stay at home,
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    the village is less lived in.
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    Before we were all in my shop.
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    Most of the world,
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    most of life took place around it.
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    A place to meet, to understand each other,
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    maybe argue with different opinions
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    but still have a dialogue. It was easier
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    it was life... I mean it was life
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    Andreas, project creator
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    Poggio alla Croce could be defined
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    as “a small Switzerland”
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    Located in a beautiful spot
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    between Chianti and Valdarno
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    Residents are active and cooperative
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    In summer a nice festival is organized
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    attracting people from both valleys
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    When problems arise, like ice in winter,
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    informations flow over the internet.
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    Looked like and ideal place
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    Then in April 2017 the “bomb”:
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    thirty migrants coming in the “palace”,
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    a former hotel middle of village
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    It sounded as if a spaceship full
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    of little black men was about to land
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    (tense music)
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    Black men are coming, black men are coming
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    We are all with our hairs raised,
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    very worried, me too to be honest because
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    Even if you hear a lot of good
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    but also bad about these youngsters
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    The strongest reaction, intense and wide,
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    was an immediate refusal,
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    a “belly” reaction that caused
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    an immediate decision
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    to collect signatures against,
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    in less than three days
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    230 signatures were collected
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    even if we are some 190
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    Attilia, a teacher in migrants school
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    A first meeting was held
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    one and half year ago in summer
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    before the migrants arrived,
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    so we did not know them
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    They had no face for us, they had no name
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    I don’t live in Poggio alla Croce,
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    I come from a nearby village
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    During the meeting there were
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    some very aggressive people,
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    I guess they were sincerely scared
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    Martin, parson of Poggio alla Croce
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    Their reaction was not due to being bad.
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    Behind there was also a reality
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    that must be told. It must be told that
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    none was pepared because none
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    had been alerted that these foreigner,
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    these migrants were coming
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    Noise of iron hammering
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    Paolo, a resident in Poggio alla Croce
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    Someone started collecting signatures,
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    and I agreed only because I wanted to know
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    where would these kids be hosted,
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    what did they come for then it became
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    clear that this was not the reason
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    they did not want to welcome them
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    So I said my signature was extorted
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    and was not in agreement any more
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    Luana, a resident in Poggio alla Croce
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    They told us
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    in a year time we’ll remind you of this..
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    we are scared..
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    I have an 18months old little girl
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    who won’t be able to walk outside anymore
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    They asked us to sign against
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    but I refused
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    and became the black sheep...
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    They are simply black
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    and this is not easy to accept
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    Integration is not easy, not easy.
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    Also on their side
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    There was a bad feeling around,
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    an awful atmosphere
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    My legs trembled, really.
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    I recognized kids that I knew
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    when they were little children.
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    And now as grown ups they were scared
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    and said they did not want the migrants
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    because their life would change,
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    it would not be possible
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    anymore to go quietly around in Poggio.
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    No more walkabouts but they shouted
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    all this in a really aggressive way..
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    and I started to tremble and was unable
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    to tell what I meant,
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    that I felt very sorry to see children
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    who had grown up together and were
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    used to share… and I remember
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    there were also coloured children
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    in our classes and all played together
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    and had now become so
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    And now I was more scared of them
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    than of the incoming migrants.
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    I could sense a rage and violence
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    that really frightened me
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    (laundry noise)
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    When the spaceship with the little
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    black men had actually landed
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    we managed to organize
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    a first circle in a room under
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    the church that our parson Martin
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    put at our disposal
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    for the rest of the story
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    we organized a first circle
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    where we played,
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    by arranging ourselves on the chairs
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    in a completely random way,
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    so mixed up, a little bit of them and
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    a little bit of us.
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    We sticked a piece of paper on the wall
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    and each and one of us started to write
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    Andrea Formiconi, italian, speaks italian
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    Then casually pointed the felt-pen towards
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    one or the other and they wrote in turn
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    Each and one of us wrote his name,
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    which country he came from,
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    which language he spoke,,,
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    This simple game basically opened up
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    a whole world, a universe
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    because it turned out that with
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    fourteen-fifteen of them there were
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    twelve-thrteen languages spoken
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    Then we discovered illiterates,
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    you could tell by the unlikely way they
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    held the marker...
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    In fact they did not write the name but
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    drew it. At the same time
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    some of them attended school
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    and to one extreme there was a guy
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    that had escaped while in his fourth year
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    of mathematics at university.
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    This helps understand the enormous
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    range of stories and different human
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    situations hiding behind this stereotype
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    which we call with univocal names:
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    the migrant..
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    which prompts the image of the
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    little black man, always the same, and his
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    standard story.
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    Absolutely not!
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    (gentle music)
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    (kitchen noises)
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    Malò
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    I think that the spark that triggered
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    all this craving for school
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    was a Malian boy, Ali,
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    who had spotted me because
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    we had spoken a little French
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    and one day I saw him arrive at my house
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    I don't live in the village,
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    there is about a mile of dirt road.
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    he arrived alone, with paper
    and pencil, telling me:
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    «Io voglio imparare l'italiano».
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    We are three guys who embarked on this
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    'little school' adventure
    in Poggio alla Croce
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    without really knowing what to expect.
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    We felt the urge to do something
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    to help these guys,
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    and we thought that teaching them
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    italian language was the thing to do
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    also to improve their trust in themselves.
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    As we are scared of them blacks,
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    they are scared of us whites
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    This has to be understood.
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    They are afraid, they are afraid of us.
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    The funny thing is that a lot of people
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    were involved who had nothing .
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    to do with teaching.
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    People like Marcie who is canadian
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    with very little italian but
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    she taught italian.. and Willy
    (a Peruvian resident)
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    who is still with us who reads
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    and does dictation
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    and anything else with them.
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    I teach in primary schools
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    on Tuesday when finished
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    With my class, often very tired like last
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    year when I taught in first
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    I sit in the car and say to myself
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    “why do you do it ? I'm crazy...
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    you should go home to rest or make dinner”
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    then I close my eyes and think
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    “if it is the right thing to do I'll find
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    the missing energies” and there I go
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    and afterwards I am happy because you get
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    there and see those smiles with white
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    teeth, peculiar of black people
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    those happy eyes...
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    I see Ajan, I see Dedo, the Kurds...
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    waiting for you who thank you for
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    being there, thanking you for being there,
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    looking forward for you
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    to teach them something.
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    (Car noise...)
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    Laura, Andreas' student
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    I arrived here a bit by chance,
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    I got to know this experience
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    thanks to Andreas, his stories
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    in university classrooms and I decided to
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    to come and have a look.
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    The question I get asked most often
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    is why I'm doing this, especially because
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    what strikes me about me is the fact
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    that I come from almost 90 kilometres
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    almost two hours by car anyway
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    just to get here.
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    It's not easy to explain,
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    because the reason
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    lies in so many little things:
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    gestures, looks, emotions,
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    the feelings you have when
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    you get in touch with these people
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    which in the end are lives
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    are experiences, are worlds
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    with which you come into contact
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    and of which you often know nothing.
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    (Traffic noise...)
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    (Country noises, chirping...)
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    (Squeaking bicycle...)
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    (Background music...)
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    Madou, student of the school
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    I go to school in Figline Valdarno
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    every day, On Mondays and Tuesdays
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    I go by car but the other days
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    I ride my bike. It's not difficult to go,
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    but it is difficult to return
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    because it takes an hour and thirty
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    minutes, it's difficult, It's tiring.
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    When I was in Africa I didn't go to
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    school and fortunately I found myself in
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    Europe and met the people who
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    are helping me
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    and enrolled me in school.
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    My goal is to learn the Italian language
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    I would like to stay in Italy,
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    I would like to work to help
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    my family in Africa. Therefore
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    I have to concentrate on studying,
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    it's my goal.
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    My name is Madou Koulibaly, I come
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    from Guinea and I'm 20 years old.
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    I arrived in Italy a year and
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    two months ago, it was a very
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    difficult trip, I can't forget it,
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    It was very dangerous.
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    I sacrificed my life
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    to seek my fortune in Europe
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    and thank God I entered Italy
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    on 13 June 2018
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    and I was transferred
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    to Poggio alla Croce.
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    I met some very good people who
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    treated me like one of their own,
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    they are like my parents here,
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    not only me but all the Africans
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    who live in Poggio alla Croce.
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    I would like to continue studying,
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    if there is a possibility,
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    I'd like to study and learn
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    a job, for example a welder.
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    (Noise spring water, chirping...)
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    Italy saved me in the sea,
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    in Italy I went to school
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    and I would like to continue studying,
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    I don't know what will happen afterwards.
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    Poggio alla Croce is my village.
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    The path is chaotic,
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    one cannot expect to follow
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    a preordained thread:
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    it would kill this kind of school.
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    So you have to follow the wind.
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    An example would be when
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    Samba had written the curriculum
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    on the computer,
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    then of course you try to help:
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    "Samba, what does this mean?
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    What's this...?"
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    Then we read:
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    "driving experience", so I ask:
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    "Samba, what did you drive?"
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    He light up immediately and says
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    "Cow!"
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    and a whole other discussion
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    started from there
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    about how things change over time,
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    how they change in Africa,
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    how they change here.
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    This is an example of digression.
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    It's a people-centred school,
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    essentially.
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    (Soft music, dialogue in the background..)
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    We all have attics full of old computers
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    and we don't know what to do with them.
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    It's a problem because we have to take them
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    to the eco-center and so we've been
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    spreading this information:
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    "Do you have an old computer?
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    You don't know what to do with it,
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    is that a problem for you?
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    Instead of giving it to the
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    recycling centre, give it to us,
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    we install a version the Linux
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    operating system, a lightweight version
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    that fits into old computers
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    and easily "resurrects" them.
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    The Ubuntu operating system
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    is so called because it is a concept
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    from southern Africa and
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    Nelson Mandela in a beautiful
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    video that we used
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    for a work with the students,
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    describes it with a little story:
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    "Once upon a time, when a wayfarer
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    arrived in a village and he was
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    tired, thirsty and hungry, no one would
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    ever ask him any question,
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    they simply brought him something to drink
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    and food. This is Ubuntu, that is
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    thinking about the other in the knowledge
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    that this creates a community
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    that lives well if we all do that."
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    Ubuntu is a great African philosophy,
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    a great African thought...
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    it's about getting to the help
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    it starts with the fact that we're all
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    brothers, if I help one person
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    that person can help
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    another person close to me,
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    therefore a general connection
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    of society in that we all consider
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    ourselves brothers and sisters.
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    What happened in Poggio alla Croce
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    is Ubuntu, it's definitely
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    authentic Ubuntu.
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    (Chorus of African children...)
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    I think that following a principle
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    where helping someone will help me
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    in turn is good for both, better than
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    fighting with each other,
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    even though in fight wins may be
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    happier than the loser.
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    This principle guides my whole life
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    since I started reasoning I have always
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    used the time I had available in social activities.
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    But not for “goodism”, not because
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    I am good and consequently must do good,
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    help others, help beggars, no.
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    Maybe I am led by selfishness,
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    I think I earn something this way
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    and so live a better life, be serene.
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    You get a lot of rip-offs, but not like
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    those you get When fighting and losing.
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    More like opportunities that leave
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    a bitter taste in our mouth but do not create
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    big problems. There were racist
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    symptoms around and that is way
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    I decided to get involved but basically
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    it was my way of doing things: I am a migrant
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    myself in Poggio alla Croce, moving from town
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    to the country.
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    I choosed to and almost from start
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    it was natural to decide joining this association.
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    It is a way of living, it is normality,
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    no heroism, I think everybody
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    can understand this.
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    When I hear it, the word Ubuntu has an impact
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    because it means “humanity”.
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    In jewish religion we have an expression,
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    “tikkum olam”, that literally means
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    “fixing the world”.
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    And I noticed how relationships
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    developed here; it is really beautiful,
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    because people one by one are slowly
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    “fixing the world” and show humanity.
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    We must concentrate on this positive part
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    of the world because if we don’t,
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    if we do nothing, we are doomed to fail.
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    For me coming here to Poggio is a little thing
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    but it means a lot in my life.
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    This idea of Ubuntu, to re-generate computers,
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    objects tools that were doomed to be
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    thrown away, is what inspired also
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    this community to act and slowly
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    re-generate itself. This is what means
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    the motto “We need you”
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    Our local community was re-generated
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    by your arrival, thanks to your spaceship
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    with little black men, because it injected
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    into us a new need to co-hoperate, to leave
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    our homes and setties, forget about tv,
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    get out and try to solve together a problem
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    for the benefit of the whole community.
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    (words from a malian rap song, music in headphones)
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    I am Samba and I come from Mali,
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    I am an artist
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    But before when I sang with my friends
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    my family was against me making music,
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    but I love it.
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    In 2016 I went first to Algeria then to Libia
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    Then I arrived here two years ago.
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    I have a complicated life,
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    I would like to be an artist
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    a rapper like many italians (Ghali, Sfera Ebbasta..)
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    I would like to do what they do
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    I don’t really know what happened
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    but we have all changed
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    I found out they changed in relation to us,
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    in the begining they would just pass by,
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    just give us a little smile but when they
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    realised we really liked them…
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    I cannot speak for all, but for people like me.
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    When we see a new one we stop him
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    with a “ehi”, and if he is tall tell him
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    to bend down or we can’t reach him, and he
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    calls us and we say “grandmas and grandpas”
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    and he replies “grandpa,grandma”,,
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    We speak italian so we try to make
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    ourselves understood and when we see
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    they reaaly don’t understand we gesture
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    like this..to make them bend down
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    And so they learn and when they pass
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    they ask “nonna, need help ?”..
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    ”no, not today, tomorrow”.
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    Some know some english and so I tell them
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    “tomorrow” and they understand.
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    I always said I have No room at home but if
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    I did I would happily take one in One, two,
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    depends on how many I could take in
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    If the house were mine, because in my view
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    they also need to be understood, to feel
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    the good not just through a smile. There are
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    essential things in the life of all, but they
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    leave their families flee from
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    very bad systems, suffer hunger.
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    Maybe we are unable to give them
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    these things We are just two or three that
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    are really fond of them straight from our
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    hearts not from our mouths
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    And they can feel it, as soon as they see
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    us they come for a kiss, for some food,
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    for biscuits, as with a little child that
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    needs to be taught to speak.
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    Some we see more often and there is a contact
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    We spend time but is not wasted time,
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    it is good time. People who saw us doing
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    that in the beginning were critical
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    But now they say “it is true they make
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    themselves loved, but how did you do it ?”
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    How ?, well we talk to them!
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    And soon or later they understand…
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    Slowly things got more stable.
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    These kids are very nice
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    They hurt nobody, they salute everybody,
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    they pass they call you, we reply,
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    at least I do, others won’t.
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    The village is quiet now,
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    it showed the worst of itself because
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    misleading informations help produce
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    bad reactions. Then you learn, you see, you
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    live and living with them is also nice.
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    The way I see it, these kids were like jailed
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    without this group of people that taught
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    them italian and other things ..
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    what would they do ? Lock up thirty kids
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    in a CAS, what for ? For nothing I think,
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    If they are not made active
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    what can they do ?
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    They are all young kids in their twenties….
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    what can they do ?
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    If they do something, if it is possible
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    to make them do something, work, play..
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    then it is different. They can be useful
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    but you must train them, let them in,
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    something impossible to do in two-three months
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    Then you have to overcome distrust.
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    Seeing a black man by your side
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    has some effects. But in the end it means
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    nothing. If you learn to know him he is
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    like me after all Even if I don’t know you
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    we share the same opinion
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    This is logical I think
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    The first village I saw after entering Europe
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    was Poggio alla Croce
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    I will never forget because they gave
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    a new life, an unforgettable experience:
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    the people, the joy, they gave me a respect
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    for society, from day one when they
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    took me around to look for a job, to take
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    the driving licence, to school..
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    and I thought “look, these people ask
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    nothing of you, but give you a lot,
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    a new life..I must give something back”
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    and thought it would be good to go on
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    with them, helping them also phisically”
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    In my life I will never forget
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    this village and the people
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    who know me, as well,
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    My family,even if not in Italy,
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    they know Poggio alla Croce!
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    It is a big joy for them too,and in my view
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    if they ever meet an italian or european
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    person they will respect them because
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    they have given a good thing, a new life
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    to their son.
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    In future I would like to help with the school,
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    I don’t speak italian well but I could help
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    with the Pakistani who don’t speak english
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    and have not studied. I could be
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    an interpreter between them and an italian
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    explaining the rules and other things.
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    It would help them but also one way
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    to give someting back to society, to the village.
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    You are integrated in this society but now
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    you are teaching other peopleto integrate in society
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    so that they can do good new things.
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    I have a lot to learn still, but people
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    from Poggio gave me a nice life, something
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    difficult to explain in words, but I will
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    always try to give something back to this
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    unforgettable, beautiful village.
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    This initiative (the school) helped people
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    who did not know each other to get in touch,
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    collaborate, become friends..Not only the migrants
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    have a school for italian and mathematics
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    but we all from the village have learnt to mix,
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    live together and it is much better.
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    Another memory that I have and I think
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    I will never forget is the second day
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    that I came back to the school and it was
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    the birthday of the great Duccio,
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    our mascot. He was one year old
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    and at a certain point during the mini
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    buffet that his mum had prepared for us
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    the boys opened a bag and pulled out
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    a little wooden cart, all coloured
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    and you could see that it was homemade,
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    the kind that I could find
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    in my grandmother's attic.
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    They were pieces of wood assembled with
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    this rope attached to pull the cart along
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    with wheels it was really well made.
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    It was handcrafted by them
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    and the gift was really appreciated by
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    Duccio because among the many toys here at
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    home, fantastic toys that play, sing,
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    shout, this simple wooden cart made with
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    pieces of wood and buttons... he liked it
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    immediately and played with it without
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    knocking it on the ground as he does
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    with other toys after thirty seconds of
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    of holding it in his hands and
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    throwing it away.
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    Also because, maybe, since when he was
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    a baby, as soon as he was born, we tried,
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    both me and my partner, to integrate
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    Duccio together with these guys,
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    without letting him live this experience
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    as if it was something outstanding
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    but as if they were our relatives, our
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    friends, our brothers and he really laughs
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    when he sees them, he goes towards them
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    my son is 18 months old...
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    He has practically become the mascot
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    of the shelter because every time they see
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    him they call him: "Duscio, Duscio"
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    you can see that when there is "Duscio"
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    they smile and I am really
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    happy about that.
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    It's a cliché, but I want my son to become
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    a citizen of the world, not a citizen of
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    Poggio alla Croce.
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    So... everything's fine... and work?
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    (Dialogues not intelligible...)
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    Duscio! Hello Duscio...
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    And bread? Bread? Bru
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    (Madou explains the recipe for bread,
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    oil and salt in his own language)
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    cocò...? bru, cocò... And oil?
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    tulù bru, tulù, cocò...
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    tulù bru, tulù, cocò...
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    So: bru, tulu, cocò!
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    You are good!
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    Yeah, good.
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    (Laundry noises...)
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    My name is Omar and I come from Senegal,
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    I have been in Italy for two years.
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    I've arrived in Poggio alla Croce
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    and I'm happy, I've met many people.
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    they teach a bit of Italian and I became
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    friends with these people I go to school,
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    I did the grape harvest and
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    the olive picking.
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    They helped me to find a good job,
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    I found a mother and a father,
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    I only miss my brothers but my mother
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    and my father are close to me,
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    they are Paola and Gabriele.
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    They are very good,
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    all of them in Poggio alla Croce
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    are very good.
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    (Pruning noise...)
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    When a foreigner comes here and leaves
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    his homeland, he still has this nostalgia,
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    he believes that where he goes
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    he will perhaps find a welcome, a smile.
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    When he comes and finds rejection it is
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    a moment of great difficulty, a sadness.
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    We are all foreigners to someone else,
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    I too am a foreigner and I arrived here
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    in 2000 and now 19 years have passed
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    and I am here as a priest
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    in Poggio alla Croce.
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    They give the idea that they have somehow
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    taken the destiny of their lives back
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    into their own hands.
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    The transformation of course,
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    and this is perhaps one of the
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    significant aspects,
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    is not just about them:
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    it is always wrong to focus on 'them'.
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    Things work when the context allows
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    itself to be changed and in this sense
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    this is a positive reaction
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    of the population.
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    Old ladies who were perhaps terrified
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    in those famous, awful meetings
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    at the beginning can now call them,
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    when the woodcutter unloads a ton of wood
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    in front of their house and for them
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    there is the problem of taking it to the
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    garden, bringing it inside...
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    and so, as they say, they call a couple
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    of these "big guys" and say
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    "will you bring it inside?"
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    and clearly these guys do the job
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    in ten minutes and they maybe pay them
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    a cappuccino or give them some money.
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    In this way a normal life has been
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    recovered, it is healthy normality that
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    makes up the real civilisation
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    of a population.
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    And by the way, and this moves me,
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    the people who are now with me and
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    who have involved me in this adventure,
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    two in particular, two women who started
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    this adventure, are the same people
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    who welcomed me twenty-six years ago
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    when I arrived here in San Polo.
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    And this is important for me, because
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    it was a beautiful experience that I had
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    and that I want to give
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    to others, to them.
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    What is the name of this dish? Mafe
  • Not Synced
    How do you make it?
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    Just meat, vegetables...?
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    How do you manage this dish?
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    Meat, some vegetables... tomato...
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    Peanut... Peanut butter Good...
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    .opala...show him, show him...
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    Ah! Is this opala? Yes, this is opala.
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    How do you do it, do you have
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    to clean, cut?
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    Yes, clean, cut... Good! Bravo!
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    I'll let you guys work
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    while I watch and help you.
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    What is this white thing?
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    In Poular: "Bantara"
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    and how do you cook it?
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    Does it take a long time?
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    In Senegal yes, I don't know in Europe...
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    because if it is fresh it cooks
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    very quickly if it is old
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    it takes longer...
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    (Music, kitchen noises...)
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    This sort of migrants' Barbiana
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    at Villa Viviana in
  • Not Synced
    Poggio alla Croce closes.
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    Today there is a great silence
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    since these young people who
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    had brought life back to the
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    depopulated village two years ago
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    were forced to leave.
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    (Music...)
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    They left in a hurry without warning,
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    some things are still there.
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    The Cristoforo cooperative,
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    which ran the centre, is leaving because
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    its budget, reduced from 35 to 21 euros
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    per migrant, has already had to close
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    5 out of 17 centres and this
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    is only the beginning:
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    the situation is no longer
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    financially sustainable.
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    Some thirty migrants arrived in
  • Not Synced
    Poggio alla Croce, in the municipality
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    of Figline and Incisa, two years ago
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    amidst the mistrust and protests of
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    the few inhabitants of the village.
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    The result was a unique experience
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    of integration until now, when they were
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    suddenly and forcibly moved to another
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    centre in Sesto Fiorentino.
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    Today was the last day of study at
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    Poggio alla Croce, it was a school
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    where foreigners learn a lot of things,
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    it was the school where we learned
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    everything we needed to in Italian, in
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    English and above all Italian culture.
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    At this time it is very difficult to be
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    away from the inhabitants of
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    Poggio alla Croce or to be away from our
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    teachers. We are very sorry but we have
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    not chosen, we tell you that we do not
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    have many words to say because living
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    with you has been very beautiful.
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    You must be proud of yourselves for all
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    that you have done and are still doing:
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    you have created an incredible and
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    unforgettable history in your little
  • Not Synced
    village, a village where humanity
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    is respected a lot.
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    For some people, living with African
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    boys is a bore or a sin.
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    But with you it was not like that,
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    always with smiles, nice words
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    without swearing or distinction of skin.
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    We were lucky to live a moment of this
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    journey with you, after the study
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    in Poggio we understood that each of us
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    must be the master of our own destiny.
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    Thank you for teaching us a good attitude
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    how to behave in Europe, thank you for
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    making us understand that we should not be
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    like people who are delinquents or
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    beggars. I will never forget you,
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    warm regards....
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    In my opinion, this story of the Poggio,
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    of the little school, is really a love
  • Not Synced
    story because we volunteers love each
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    other, because we are together
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    in a special way, and we with the guys,
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    and they love us, real friendships have
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    been born, it's a love story.
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    It is these small gestures, these tales
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    of everyday life that make our experience
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    so special. It is what makes you say:
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    "I care about you" It is the most
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    precious gift we can take home.
Title:
Documentario "Ubuntu. Io sono perché noi siamo"
Description:

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Video Language:
Italian
Duration:
52:00

English subtitles

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