Since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to live a missionary experience in Africa, but it was always too expensive for my small savings. Over time, as I became economically independent, I managed to turn this dream into reality.

September 2018. I had just come back from a trip to Namibia with a dear friend of mine. A real paradise. After have traveled more than 4800 km between desert and mountains behind the wheels of a sedan, we went into the north of the country,  on the border with Angola. Along the way we decided to stop three days in Opuwo, where we started to see poverty with our own eyes. We saw barefoot children everywhere. Along dirt and dusty roads we noticed that houses were built with rusty iron strips. The trip changed. Our appearance and our skin color drew attention. Curious local people came close to us and put anything in our hand just to receive something to eat. We spent a couple of days playing football with children. “Football”, I thought: ”international language, common to all, which unites people from the south pole to the north pole… also here people chase a ball,  maybe it’s little bit worn, but the important thing is that it rolls.

When I came back to Italy, I got back to the job I’ve always loved, tailoring, happy to reopen the door of the workshop. I work and I am independent since a couple of years, in this way I can save a part of my salary. I already knew that it was going to be expensive, but why give up a wish?

3,2,1 go! Let the project starts!

“Ties for Africa” comes from here and it is open to all. Through the sale of ties and/or donations, the full end of the year income will be donated to the group “Missioni Estere” from Recanati (Macerata) and used to build schools and houses in the area of Wolaita, in the south of Etiopia.

February 2019.  I left for Etiopia.

I think that’s not possible to start a project like this without seeing the poverty of that place with your own eyes. Etiopia is a country in reconstruction, damaged by a civil war lasted 17 years which led to the death of 1.4 million of citizen and soldiers. I spent this period in the south of the country surrounded by nature. I started to conduct a census together with the missionary group: we checked the health status of more than 4000 children in adoption, scattered in disparate villages, hard to imagine and even harder to reach! I start to notice that facing life here is very difficult. Health, hygiene and infrastructures are empty concepts. The right to education is nonexistent. Children use their time working on the fields or searching for water during the hottest season. I still remember the death of a 4 years old child unfortunately crushed by the fall of a cow. I wondered what his fault was. 

 In the West we have everything: houses, cars, clothes, vacations but we constantly forget about those are born less fortunate. I’m not asking to give away all these things, we have to appreciate everything that life gives us. Together, through the purchase of a tie or through a simple donation (that can even start from 1€), we can support the education for these children.

I’m here to say: let’s give the chance to dream to these children!

Our Company motto is: “Join, we dream”   / Together, we dream!

Riccardo Verolo

Ties for Africa

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