With WWOOF I learned to
build and rebuild together
I arrived as a WWOOFer at Maurizios farm (Fattoria Gioia) 20 years ago, a bit by chance, trying to improve my Italian and to help on the farm. At the beginning life in the countryside seemed beautiful and romantic but not suitable for me, I loved traveling and going to the cinema in the city. Over time I learned to appreciate the silence, the seasons, the conviviality, the good food and so with Maurizio, who is now my husband, we have structured the activity of the farm with the production of goat cheese and honey for sale at local markets in addition to olive oil and meat for our own consumption. It was an immense joy to see our children Marta and Marco grow in this context as in olden times, sharing their daily life with the WWOOFers who brought us, along with their help, other ideas and other horizons. A beautiful story that could end here ... but ...
In recent years our balance has been put to the test by terrible calamities. In 2015, after a heavy snowfall, the road collapsed, it was the only access to the farm and we were left with no water for ourselves or for the animals. We were completely isolated, even from the rescue teams, but no public structure helped us to restore the road: for them, a small reality in an internal area like ours was only a cost and a burden. With a video that we circulated amongst friends, a solidarity campaign started to get the institutions to act. In the drama we became aware of our fragility and we promised ourselves not only to get out of the situation but to make this experience an opportunity for formation for all the farmers who, like us, live in fragile and isolated territories. Thanks to a Crowdfunding with Banca Etica and WWOOF Italy we organized a training course in naturalistic engineering aimed at the farming world and was an opportunity for everyone to learn how to prevent this kind of catastrophes and get out with their own strength.
Again in 2017 with snow, earthquake and landslide, we lived in isolation and a lot, a lot of FEAR, but also on this occasion we have confirmed the value and strength of networks such as WWOOF, GAS and other associations that have pulled us out of the mud, a little at a time. I learned to feel the closeness of those who, despite the physical distance, supported us because they believed in what we do. I learned that in our lost corner of Abruzzo, we are not alone.
Gracias, de còrazon Maria José
Other initiatives to help the farmers affected by the earthquake:
The Coop Valli Unite (Piemonte) is organizing the delivery of a truck with about 160,000 kgs of hay to be sent to livestock breeders in Amatrice.
WWOOF Italia will sharing the cost of the hay with the Valli Unite. A truck driver will provide the transportation free. Reseda Onlus will ensure the logistics once it arrives. Anyone who can provide hay or provide transport please let us know.
Meanwhile we are looking for heatable tents tends to help other families who are trying to survive in the mountains but cannot sleep in their houses.
Please let us know if you can supply tents and of course caravans (trailers) and camper vans are also very welcome. On this front our friends in Campi Aperti are well organized.
From the Facebook page Amatrice 2.00 - the sun after the storm - updates keep arriving on the progress of aid.
A farmer with cattle has been helped by our volunteers and now has a new barn and soon will also have stalls for the animals, we have delivered the straw, which was not easy and we also spoke to the son who will help us in the operation ‘SOS agricoltori di Amatrice 2.0’.
to keep up to date
for information on possible contributions - also on helping actually on site - call or write to Roberto Salustri
Roberto Salustri, coordinator of the Amatrice 2.0 inizitive - the sun after the storm, has informed me that he is organizing a group of volunteers for a shift in Amatrice and surroundings the 3 and 4 December.
Anyone wishing more information may contact him directly https://amatriceduepuntozero.wordpress.com/partecipare/
People who are willing to help out will be educated and trained for their own and others' safety.
Other friends and associates are mobilizing to deliver hay in the area or to help members and non-members to recall the practicability of their homes. It would be useful to find hay (and straw) in areas as close as possible to the affected areas to avoid wasting resources in long-haul transport.
There has been useful information on caravans or campers that can be made available for those who cannot sleep in a house whilst waiting to provide accommodation in housing units.
AMATRICE 2.0 - IL SOLE DOPO LA TEMPESTA (THE SUN AFTER THE STORM)
Project for the support of local communities using Transition Town and permaculture methods. For an ecological rebirth of and solidarity for the areas affected by the earthquake in Amatrice and surrounding area.