They've created a land of opportunity
Even today, many women find themselves in an extremely precarious situation, alone with their child(ren) and without work. In southern Italy, the Fabbrica del Farò offers them the opportunity to bounce back towards a brighter future.
Introducing the project
This project was born near Brindisi, in the Puglia region of Italy, where people speak loudly and eat every Sunday with their families on huge tables filled with food. Here, between fields of olive trees and the turquoise blue of the Mediterranean, stands La Fabbrica del Farò, an old disused factory in which project leaders are trying to create a land of opportunity.
The leader of this project is Silvia, director of La cooperativa sociale il Farò. For several years, this cooperative has been welcoming and housing women who find themselves in an extremely precarious situation, alone with their child(ren) and without work. Through non-formal education, art and personal development, it helps these women to reintegrate gently into society.
With the Fabbrica, Silvia wanted to create a living space in which numerous associations could develop their projects, and in which women could rebuild their lives without feeling completely on the margins of society.
Going further together
With this idea in mind, Silvia decided to bring together a dozen local partners for the project, including Tenrock (a social circus) and Matera Bike (which offers guided bike tours of the region). Together, and with the help of international volunteers, they are beginning to rehabilitate and breathe new life into the abandoned factory.
The general idea is to create a place that can house the women of the social cooperative, but also offer non-formal education workshops (hospitality, catering, ceramics, agriculture, theater, administrative work etc.) in which the women can participate to develop skills useful for their reintegration.
A tourist expedition led by Matera Bike
This is where the project's various local partners come into play: by offering their services on site, they give these women the opportunity to learn on the job while developing their business. This is the case, for example, of Matera Bike, which has found in the fabbrica a new starting point for its tourist tours, which the women can help manage.
A place open to all
Today, the Fabbrica is a place open to all, and even though the project is still in its infancy, they are trying as much as possible to open up to the outside world, firstly through the circus events it hosts, but also through their social vegetable garden and their soon-to-be-functioning little hostel.
So if you're in Italy's boot heel for the vacations, and you're curious to see an extraordinary project run by people with a big heart, don't hesitate for a second. No doubt you'll be greeted with big smiles and open arms.
What's more, if you'd like to give this project a helping hand without having to go all the way to Italy (having done it in a van, it's not far), you can always take a look at their website (or even make a small donation).
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