Gift. There were some twelve-year-olds in Ponte di Nona Vecchia who had never seen a library. Or rather, they'd seen them, but only in American movies. Those huge ones, with spiral staircases and people bent silently over desks. When the kids from Altramente told them, “There are libraries in Rome too”, they could hardly believe it, because not all of the local landscape is equipped with facilities for cultural enrichment. To take their place, though, there are associations like Altramente, which for the last six years has been working in the field of civic re-education, especially in disadvantaged areas. A handful of young enthusiasts promoting specific projects – designed with craftsman-like care – able to provide the tools of literacy, facilitate employment and requalify the local area through the reduction of social inequality.
Altramente is designed to be a place which reinstates the joy of learning, understood as an opportunity for social and personal growth, and offers reading and writing workshops, as well as workshops dedicated to sewing and recycling, and educational spaces for students of all ages as well as social workers.
One of the events closest to Altramente's heart is Pezzettini (Little Pieces), a series of intensely cultural events involving writers, editors and artists of various kinds in an environment inhabited by people who often scarcely know of the existence of books. Like Io Leggo and many others, in addition to providing of providing opportunities and tools for personal growth, at the heart of this project there is gift culture – on the part of the volunteers involved, the guests invited to participate, and the young people who reap the benefits. It is a continuum of inventing, offering, talking and recreating; a virtuous circle with the emphasis on the human being, seen as a creature to be shaped and then let loose to decorate the world.
The story has been written by Rossella Milone, writer.
Altramente provides educational programs for students and social workers.