Travelers who choose a vacation rental in Genoa via may contribute to the activities and projects of C.R.E.A, the Food Surplus Recovery Center and Mediterranean Laboratory, simply called LabMed by the inhabitants of the historic center: a space of culture and sharing that aims to redevelop the neighborhood by enhancing the social plurality that composes it.

C.R.E.A.: a concrete aid for the Valpolcevera of Genoa

Valpolcevera is an area of the Ligurian capital largely inhabited by citizens in state of social distress, due to inequalities, lack of prospects and opportunities, poor liveability, inadequate services and connections. In this area there are 13 of the 18 city districts that have a situation of alarm, for the widespread poverty and the low schooling and employment rates. To these long-term difficulties, from August the 14th, 2018, added the consequences of the tragedy of the Morandi Bridge that, in addition to causing 43 deaths and hundreds of displaced persons, has resulted in an even greater social and economic isolation of the tract of the city along the River Polcevera.

This is the problematic context in which the community of San Benedetto al Porto has been operating since 2013: twice a week distributes free food to those who cannot buy it, recovering food waste from commercial circuits. C.R.E.A. project, italian acronym for Food Surplus Recovery Center, represents an innovative pathway to combat poverty and social exclusion: in 2018 more then 130 families in difficult conditions benefited of the project.

The operators of the historic community founded by Don Andrea Gallo, all of whom are engaged in paths of emancipation and work reintegration, weekly collect edible but no more saleable products from the general market of Bolzaneto (SGM): especially fruit and vegetables, but also oil, coffee, biscuits and whatever else has an expiration date too close to be sold.

The absolute transparency of the supply chain from collection to distribution, guaranteed by the Subsidiarity pact with the Municipality of Genoa, allows to really give donor companies an account of the intended use of the collected goods and retain them: the quantity of fresh fruit and vegetables recovered in 2018 it is around the incredible figure of 100 tons, almost twice the quantity collected in the previous year.

Until August the 14th, 2018, to the project was destined the totality of the profits of the Fabbrica del Riciclo, a recovery and restoration center for furniture and other objects managed by the same San Benedetto al Porto community, which was housed in a shed located just below spans of the collapsed Morandi Bridge. Today C.R.E.A. counts on the support of travelers who choose to book their stay in Genoa and thus have the opportunity to donate a part of the total cost of the vacation rental to finance their activity.

LabMed, a social and cultural laboratory for the historic center of Genoa

LabMed is located in Vico del Fornaro, in the heart of the ancient district of La Maddalena, one of the areas of the Ligurian capital most exposed to social and urban changes. The young people of the association Nuovi Profili who manage the space, mostly of foreign origin, weekly offer theater courses, Italian, Arabic, Chinese, English, Spanish language courses and much more. LabMed organizes concerts, book presentations, conferences, projections, artistic and photographic exhibitions, animated readings and tales in language, all at popular prices if not completely free. Often, are directly the inhabitants of the neighborhood who propose the events.

The space is also home of the Mu.Vi.Sono (Live Museum of Sounf Objects): as explained by Marco Tosto, one of the promoters, it is a didactic path aimed at retracing the history of the relationship between man and the sound through a hundred musical instruments. The premises are used to build handmade instruments, in particular drums of the Italian tradition, with seminars held once a month. To music, musicality and singing are weekly dedicated educational and ludic workshops for children, diversified by age group (0-3, 3-5, 5-10), and courses for adults, who also have a rehearsal room available, equipped to grow their own musical groups.

These activities of promoting plurilingualism, encouraging knowledge, intercultural training and education are flanked by an important action of guidance and accompaniment, also individual, addressed to old and new citizens. Those who needs support in the scholastic, social, health and judicial areas, for example for the compilation of the documents necessary to issue a residence permit or to take advantage of the employments services, at LabMed finds a desk where they can receive information and administrative assistance. Those struggling to make the most of their skills have a psychologist who is willing to listen and help.

For Genoa, a city of sea, harbor and migration, LabMed represents a challenge that we are called to overcome, given the complexity of our social contexts, a resource that concerns the whole of citizenship, the way we live and look at the world. LabMed not only offers the opportunity to meet diversity – of geographical origin, age, gender, personal stories – but also an area of interchange, which favors community cohesion, coexistence and active citizenship.

For the inhabitants of La Maddalena, sung by the famous Genoese songwriter De André “as a woman of ill repute, of all and of no one, as a tongue, as an altar”, the LabMed is an opportunity to express oneself starting from one’s own personality, to recognize analogies and common paths, to overcome conflicts and separations. A social laboratory open to travelers who, thanks to, will contribute to the growth of the project and will be invited to participate.

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