Xlestrade met Mario Stefani, current president of Orient@menti.
Orient@menti is a cultural association based in Turin and was officially founded in 2007.
The idea to form a partnership is the result of a series of trips to India since 2000, in the area of Ladakh, in the north of the country, on the border with Pakistan and China, by Mario and some of his friends.
On this occasion they had the opportunity to meet people and build some good relationships. Once they came back to Italy, they decided to help the local community , proposing a collaboration.
Orient@menti works in Lamajuru, in a village of about 800 people.
The projects started, Mario told us, were all agreed with the population and on the basis of the needs expressed by it. The locals have always helped through labor and providing the necessary resources.
The projects implemented and / or supported are as follows:
– Redevelopment of the nursery;
– Construction of a hostel which can accommodate children attending primary school, especially those coming from outside;
– The hostel was put into operation in 2009 and Orient@menti provides for meals and housing during non-school timetable;
– Educational support of children of primary school through the stationery;
– Support of the school children of the monastery of Buddhist monks of Lamajuru.
We asked what are the future plans of the association. The first goal is to continue to support the hostel. It also intends to promote further training courses for teachers and about teaching. In 2013 , for example , a course about first aid has been done.
Finally , a support for the opening of cooperatives which can produce crafts and clothes for the self- financing is foreseen.
In Italy Orient@menti organizes events, parties and other fund-raising moments.
It works in elementary and middle schools making exchanges of letters between the children of the two countries. The objective of this project is to succeed in overcoming social differences that are often evident.
Xlestrade requested some information for those who could be interested in the activities that the association realizes. Currently there are about 70 members and it is available to the involvement of new volunteers . Every year , during the summer it organizes local trips in order to allow those who support the association to watch with their own eyes what is being achieved.
The thought that Orient@menti leaves is a thought on solidarity: solidarity is born among the children when they start helping each other. It would be great to make grow this culture of solidarity. People of the western countries should recover it.
We thank friends Orien@menti for contacting us. Xlestrade also wants to grow, as well as the solidarity between and within people!