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Letter from President Cinzia Pagni to the members and supporters of ASeS – Farmers Solidarity and Development

Dear members, friends and supporters

The spread of the health emergency, due to Covid19 and the lengthening time to restart, has called us alli to a renewed sense of responsibility: to ourselves, to others and, in our case, to the commitments made in Italy and in the countries where we cooperate

In these terrible months, therefore, our effort has been to give continuity to our projects while respecting the regulations imposed by each individual state. Without ever failing in our goals, we also became an active participant in terms of prevention, providing adequate information to our beneficiaries, ensuring that every initiative was carried out safely and, as far as we could, making anti-counterfeiting devices available to the territory.
In the three foreign countries where we are currently involved in projects directly with the local population, initiatives have been coordinated and agreed upon with the country representatives: Luigi Esposito for Paraguay, Daniele Gallo for Mozambique, and Giovanna Cantice for Senegal.
As ASeS President today, I would like to share with you our commitment to countering Covid-19 achieved without ever abandoning that sensitivity that has always animated our efforts and projects and that, over the years, has allowed us to work side by side in situations that are not always simple to ensure equal opportunities and equal rights.

In Paraguay , in support of the Ministerial “Abrazo” program established to donate food aid to children and adolescents in need, ASeS purchased and donated to the Minister of Children and Adolescents Teresa Martinez 10 portable handwashing machines made by adapting metal bins, 5 decontaminating sanitizing mats and 300 disposable masks. A rudimentary but effective hand-washing system was also made from recycled materials and placed inside the Nemity Pedagogical Center where the 10 young beneficiaries present were informed and made aware of the need and importance of implementing good hygiene practices in order to counter the spread of the virus. I also like to mention how in this very “House” that gathers so many young people in difficulty, the effort made by our collaborators has also been to make this health emergency less traumatic by ensuring, whenever possible and always safely, the continuity of the labor inclusion project through social agriculture.
In Mozambique, the continuity of our project in which we are involved in assisting to supply food to serum-positive mothers admitted to the rural hospital in Xinavane has always been guaranteed. Since the first government measures that led to a partial lock down, our country representative has implemented all the necessary preventive measures. An “educational” day was held with the 36 beneficiaries, their children and some technicians explaining risks and measures to be taken. ASeS has, in addition, immediately purchased and provided masks to the staff members, technicians and farm laborers who work alongside and with us. About 70 masks, with accompanying information kits, will be delivered to mothers benefiting from the project in the coming days. In order not to neglect the cultivated gardens, visits were reduced to the bare minimum while still complying with the anti Covid measures. This made it possible to deliver the seeds to the beneficiaries without health risks.
Even in Senegal, our efforts have been unabated, we have reduced expenditures whenever possible, and we have continued to support the development of our projects by scrupulously complying with the measures decided by the government.
During this period we had a valuable opportunity to show that fear cannot defeat the value of humanity.
As with abroad, in Italy we have felt a responsibility to take charge of various initiatives at the national and territorial levels and have been committed to the safety of those who, in various capacities, work in the primary sector.
In the first case, we launched the ” Protect Farmers, #lanaturanonsiferma” campaign; a fundraiser to purchase sanitary supplies (masks, gloves and disinfectants) for those who work in agriculture and have never stopped working to ensure healthy food for the entire population.
In the first days of the emergency, 900 masks were purchased then delivered to ASeS Board members and ASeS Activist Volunteers so that they could be quickly distributed in the various territories; in collaboration with CRF and ENEL and with the sponsorship of the Tuscany Region, we delivered 6,000 masks with related information kit in Tuscany; and finally, we organized a fundraiser, again for the purchase of dpi, to be provided to farmers who make home deliveries and are involved in social agriculture.
In the second case with the campaign “Let’s support together the fight against Covid19” #noinonciarrendiamo #agricoltorisolidali we supported the initiative of Cia Marche aimed at raising funds to be allocated to RSA and the fundraising campaign in Piedmont with Cia – Agricoltori delle Alpi aimed at supporting Civil Defense .
We are currently planning, thanks to the involvement of some institutional partners, a fundraiser to be used for the purchase and donation of food goods for the weaker social groups.In this situation, moreover, we thought it appropriate to carry out a survey questionnaire on the difficulties and proposals for recovery to be proposed to AS companies so that we can study and undertake activities to provide concrete support to a sector that we believe is fundamental to the country’s restart.
Certain that I will soon be able to update you on our other initiatives, I send you all warm greetings. 

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