August 2, 2012

Santina Gusmini Onlus Association is founded. Why? What is intended purposes? Why is dedicated to an individual? Who was Santina Gusmini? How and where the Association will operate?We believe that many of these answers, at least the essential ones, will come from reading the letter that we sent to the Embassy of Botswana in Brussels, in charge for our country, which paved the way for several talks, first in Belgium, then in the capital , Gaborone, aimed at the realization of our project in this country.

Hoping, of course, that it ( the project ) will start in the shortest possible time and become permanent in the country, we still want to point out that Botswana is not a point of arrival, but, on the contrary, a beginning: the ascertainment of goodness, social utility and feasibility of an idea , a sample project, to be replicated, with success, in countries with similar situations and equally receptive.More answers can be found too by reading the art. 1ofour Rule Book, in which are expressly stated the purposes of our Association. There will certainly be useful reading of our Statute, Mission and Vision. We are of course at your disposal for any further question about it. For the sake of clarity, the pronoun we, in these lines is used, relative to a group of people who have known Santina Gusmini, shared the objectives and purposes of the founders and are a full part of our Association.

March 21, 2013

Our history is now effectively begun. That’s what happened in these first eight months.First, the three founders became fifteen. Please take note that basically almost all members have operational responsibilities in different areas of our organization and only by these premises we aim to grow numerically. So these numbers in so short time are very satisfying for us.

We realized this website
, which we hope is pleasing to our supporters or even just readers. Some parts, deliberately left blank, will be soon accomplished.All about donations, from individuals or companies, was, by choice, not completed, despite our bank account was opened the same day of the foundation.It was (and it is) our belief that it won’t be ethically fair accept donations until: being officially recognized as a non-profit organization and have a project in an advanced stage of approval by the government of the country that will host our first school.

Last week we were informed by the Italian Authorities, the Santina Gusmini Onlus Association has been registered in the Register of No Profit Organizations.All those who make donations, can take advantage of tax benefits provided by Italian law. The foreign donors should refer to their regulations.In recent months we have also had several talks and meetings with diplomats from an African country, which was particularly interested in our project.We had a contact with an Italian University, Faculty of Humanities too, launching a collaborative project, within our mutual independence, which will certainly produce positive results. We’ll give you more information shortly.

April 30, 2013.

Two of our members, the President and one of the founding members, just returned from Botswana, where they had gone to a series of talks due to the invitation of the local government. The meetings, which have seen directly involved Senior Officials of the Ministry of Education, of Land and of Foreign Affairs, have served to clarify each others positions for arranging in advance the beginning of our activities in the country. As soon as the agreement is ratified, it will be notified on these pages.

January 6, 2014

To all our friends, supporters and readers, best wishes for a marvellous 2014. We begin this New Year with the firm belief that, this one is definitely the year in which our project will start. The talks with the Authorities of Botswana, during the journey of April 2013, gave us the impression that the beginning of our operativity was imminent.Unfortunately, the bureaucracy is not only an Italian problem.We had to ask for an answer several times and, when it has finally arrived, we were asked to review our projects, both the executive, than the educational.Only through hard work, tenacity and perseverance of our members and, above all, of a couple of new friends, Giulia and Jacopo, residents in the country, we were able to make significant progress. Not yet decisive, but crucial to be able to provide the basis for a beginning of our operativity in Botswana.Below we show you the most relevant news in recent months:
  • We decided to finance ourselves the acquisition of the plot of land where our school will be built. The Government of Botswana replied no to our unique request: the concession for free of the land needed
  • we were able (thanks Giulia !!), to get a developer from Bota ( Botswana Training Authority ) to proceed with the drawing up of our educational program. Received, at last, the precise suggestions, we are working in tune with the Ministry of Education
  • We are waiting for the formal invitation to realize our project in the country. We hope, this time, to achieve this important goal in a few weeks
  • We have modified our Executive Project, in accordance with the instructions received, but keeping intact our independence, the uniqueness of our project and its important social implications
  • We have developed a preliminary plan of the buildings to be built in Botswana to realize our school campus, defining spaces, types, buildings needed
  • We have suspended the never fully started fundraising. Without a formal invitation, it is unethical to do it. But, incredible to say, anyhow we received the first donations: it is nice to see that there is someone, who believes in us. Thank you friends
  • We have established the Executive Board and the first Assembly
  • We are proceeding to realize a branch in Switzerland, for members and donors coming from that country
  • We have been in contact with new people, new friends, who have encouraged us to continue our project

April 2, 2014

We were close to the goal. After a huge work, carried out with considerable patience from our educational manager, prof. Giulia Boriani, who tirelessly has too many times passed the threshold of the Ministry of Education to meet with different people in order to get our essential formal invitation, today, with great bitterness, we have been informed that, in a Gaborone newspaper, an article speaks explicitly of earthquake at Ministry of Education. In it, that you will find published in the link "news", we are informed that all the leaders of the Ministry of Education have been removed: the Minister Mrs. Pelonomi Venson, the PS Mrs. Grace Muzila and the DPS Mr. David Ratsatsi. These last two were the people who had met prof. Boriani and who promised an answer in a very short time. This situation, with the settlement of new people just a few months from the general elections, is likely to keep us in a position to stall until the end of elections themselves.

 It would mean, for a merely formal problem, we have wasted a whole year. We will try to contact the new leaders of the Ministry or other people in charge of different departments, but we are conscious that the difficulties are much increased. We had no special relationship with the previous institutions, but at least knew each other, us and the project. And they were really close to release us the invitation. It 's very difficult to believe that, people just in charge, with an important election looming, assume any responsibility for having endorsed a new initiative. After all, who does nothing never makes mistakes. ...In any case, we will continue, at least for now, with our usual tenacity in pursuing our goal.

January 2, 2016

The fourth year of life of our Association is beginning. Apparently nothing special  happened. Our history seems to be made of good intentions, great ideas, but none project realized. But this is not exactly true.
The Association has now a stable structure, a proper educational program, a flexible executive project, a thorough knowledge of faraway countries, a network of efficient contacts.
We take a look in detail.
The members operate daily in different sectors: the architects in preparing more projects adaptable to different realities, the pedagogist in the drafting of the final educational project, the webmaster in the maintenance of the website, the doctor in the assessment of the issues within his competence, the chartered accountant in the fiscal and financial management, the President in the coordination and in the public relations. The only activity on standby, for ethical choice, fundraising, due to  the absence of an active project.
In detail:
1) Architecture - now we have an executive project which provides for different  possibility: to construct  the needed buildings from scratch, to renovate existing buildings if offered, to realize buildings by  an architecture of containers in particularly remote areas
2) Educational Project - we finalized our educational project, the pillar of our training course , consolidated the relationship with the University of Bergamo, prepared a qualitatively valid  course of study, according African requirements
3) Website - the website has been renovated, constantly updated, easy to read and consult
4) Medical Area - have been developed the chapters dealing of hygiene and first aid, and now we have a doctor ready to go and  teach on-site the students
5) Tax issues - we manage the donations and the 5 per thousand  to which system we have been adhering for three years ( without receiving any money from the State..)
6) Loans - we lost some donors, due to remarkable length from the Government of Botswana, but we have kept some others and especially we have many new friends and new ideas for fundraising, we hold on stand-by until  we'll start a real operativity
7) International relationships - we cancelled the Botswana project  for the totally inconclusive attitude of the Government, but we do not believe to have wasted three years, although the regret (perhaps we should use another word ...) is huge. But it was a fundamental experience, that will help us in the future. Now we have advanced contacts with Namibia, Cabo Verde and Mozambique, and we believe that there are good possibilities shortly
In conclusion, the Association has survived to difficult times, it has cemented relations between the partners, it has maintained independence and determination, with  gained experience it is now ready to realize our Project.