Jan 7, 2019

Work in progress at IBO New Home!

IBO Italia is carrying on the renovation of the new training centre for volunteers in the city of Ferrara. 

During the last three months, the following construction works have been implemented thanks to local firms and volunteers:

• Ceilings with plasterboard for deteriorated floors

• Grouting walls

• Renovation and painting of the windows on the first floor

• Renovation of bathrooms and kitchen

• Underground and first floor painting

• Terrace reconstruction and paving

• Heater system recovery

• Installation and testing of boiler and new radiators

• Electrical system

• Data system

• Floor sanding

• Gardening

In the next months, the following construction works are scheduled

• Painting on the second floor

• Sanding parquet flooring and varnishing

• Stair cleaning and painting

• Renovation of external stairs

• Installation external gate for pedastrian

• Installation of a lift platform for the access of people with disabilities


Compared to what we had planned in the first half of the year, Casa IBO will not be ready for January 1, 2019. Here are the next useful dates until the expected inauguration:

• January 2019 | Volunteer hosting area will be finished

• February 2019 | Preparation of the rooms for offices and training

• March 2019 | Open Days for citizens interested in visiting the premises

• Spring 2019 | Inauguration

The renovation work are carried on also thanks to the support of private citizens who dedicate part of their free time to paint, clean up and arrange the premises.

In this report, we particularly would talk about a Volunteer Day held on September 29th 2018, in collaboration with the Municipality of Ferrara. IBO House’s project had indeed been included in the "My Ferrara" program proposed by the Urban Center and aimed at involving citizens on a volunteer day to spread the care of their city. In this way, 40 private citizens participated in different works at Casa IBO, contributing significantly to the progress of the work.

We are pleased to think that Casa IBO, as a new home for volunteering, can actually be realized with the help of many volunteers, who are contributing, with their time and availability, to let this dream come true!


Dec 10, 2018

IBO's travel diary in Panciu

Waiting for Christmas
Waiting for Christmas

Dear Friend,

we are writing you in order to keep you updated about the Centre Pinocchio. We have some good news to tell you, but unfortunately also a tragic loss that affected us several months ago.

Recently, a small delegation of IBO representatives visited the centre in Panciu. The delegation was composed by Ermelinda Pittelli (Fund Raising coordinator), Alberto Osti (President of IBO Italia) and Daniele Osti (IBO member).

Here you are a short abstract of Ermelinda's travel diary of those days...


"DAY 1

We arrive during the night and go to the guesthouse. We take a shower after the long trip and then go to bed. The morning after, we immediately head to the Centre Pinocchio without even having breakfast. At 9 am the socio-educational activitites start. We meet Monica, local project coordinator, and Larisa, a young worker who has administrative tasks and supports the kitchen's activities. Soon after, three Italian IBO volunteers within the National Civil Service (Manuel, Sara and Roberta), together with a German volunteer called Franziska and Andrés, a Peruvian volunteer, welcome us. In half an hour, all the children start filling the garden outside the centre: while the younger children immediately start playing with the volunteers, the older ones finish their holiday homeworks before the start of the new scholastic year.

In the meantime, we take the chance to have a look around, noticing that the whole structure is very well-maintained by the volunteers and local staff, after the massive renovation work that was carried out some years ago. The furniture and tables are still brand new and the bathrooms are all clean. Likewise, the kitchen and the canteen are still in very good conditions.

On the kitchen's walls there are little pieces of tape that indicate the children's names. When it's time for a snack, every tape is fixed on a glass. I can't help myself from noticing one particular name on the upper part of the wall: GIMI. As you might have understood from our Facebook page or newslatter, last summer a tragic accident affected all the people at the Pinocchio centre. In a summer day, the river flow dragged Gimi away, and the child tragically died of drowning. He was only 15 years old, full of life and he was dreaming of being a mechanic in the future. We have all gathered around the family, the centre and the whole community to support them.



Monica needs to speak to a girl's mom, because she suspects the child might be suffering from scabies and she asks me to go with her to Vale Brazi, where the majority of Roma children live. She tells me it could be a good chance to say hi and support Gimi's mom and grandma. I was not prepared for that. The first time I met Gimi he was a little kid, I've seen him growing up into a young boy and now all that's left of him is a piece of tap on the kitchen's wall. However, nobody is at home, and the exterior light is on, as a mourning sign.

Thus, we decide to go back and we bump into Ionut, another child with beautiful dark hair who attended the Centre years ago. He's now 19 years old. As soon as he see us, he stops, waves at us and asks us how we are, telling us about his family and his two children. His granpa is standing next to him, a still pretty young man, who is however very shabby, looking much older than he really is. On the other hand, Ionut's children are young, very beautiful, very clean and uptight.

Thinking about Gimi and meeting Ionut and his children makes me realize the importance of our mission in Panciu. Ionut is very different from all the people who surround me: the Centre Pinocchio, as well as all the volunteers and staff involved, really had an impact in changing his life.



Today we finally have the time to speak to Monica for a while. She tells us that she's really happy with the work at Pinocchio, due to the fact that this year for the first time more than 50 children are attending the centre and the relationship with the families is really improving overtime.

Furthermore, she tells us how complicated and tiring her job at the centre is, underlining how she always has to manage multiple tasks with the children, the volunteers and the institutions. She asks us if we could give her more help by hiring another professional educator who can support her in order to offer a high-quality service to the Centre. Then, she shows us the upper floor of the Centre, where the renovation works are not finished yet: we are all satisfied in seeing the works progressing, Monica is day-dreaming and she clearly cannot wait to move all the activities there, where the rooms are bigger and there are even two bathrooms with showers the children will use.

We go back downstairs, where Andres, the Peruvian volunteer, who's also an artist, shows us his project. In the following weeks, the Centre is going to close for a few days and all the kids will find a big surprise when they'll get back there: a giant murales that is going to cover all the facade and will represent Pinocchio's tale."



The things to tell you are a lot, it's not easy to summarize the daily "life" at the Centre Pinocchio on a page, but we hope we took you for a while to Panciu with us.

Thank you for everything you do, your support is essential for the future of the disadvantaged children attending the Centre Pinocchio.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a super Happy New Year!

Municipality's recognition for Centre's daily work
Municipality's recognition for Centre's daily work
The new murales and the snow
The new murales and the snow


Sep 12, 2018

Summer 2018: encounters and interculture!

With you, we are stronger!
With you, we are stronger!

Dear donors,

it’s a pleasure for us to send you this short report after the summer 2018. A lot of events, people, smiles, children and nice days passed at the Centre Pinocchio.

At the end of school in June, all children have passed and this has been a very rewarding results for the educators and the volunteers: it means that the after-school's work has a relevant impact and guarantees positive achievements for everybody. It means that the Centre Pinocchio can really contribute changing the lives of the most disadvantaged children and building for them and with them a better future. As Mandela once said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

July has been a month full of new meetings: in the first half of the month, a group of 10 Italian volunteers came to the centre and organized many recreational activities, games, workshops, excursions. This has been an enriching opportunity for the children, the staff and the young volunteers: children benefited of new stimula and new encounters; local staff met new volunteers and had the occasion to exchange ideas and experiences in the socio-educational field; young Italian volunteers discovered a new reality and touched with hand the meaning of social inclusion. The workcamp has thus been a real example of richness of diversity, of intercultural exchange and promotion of solidarity.

On the 14th July, a new long-term volunteer arrived at the Centre Pinocchio...this time from a far and little-known country: Peru. Andrès is a young guy, an artist with a long experience in working with graffiti as a tool for involving children and young people in reinventing local spaces. He arrived with a baggage full of ideas, culinary traditions, music, dances and arts typical of Latin America. His stay in Panciu is bringing a gust of “fresh” air and interculture.

In August and September the Centre Pinocchio hosted other important visits: Anna, an Italian woman, friend of an ex-volunteer who was curious to discover this socio-educational reality and to contribute with her time and energy to summer activities; Maite, a Spanish volunteer, who spent 8 months at the centre and decided to come back because of the strong affection she felt for children and staff.

Last but not least, two representatives of IBO Italia realized a monitoring visit at the project in Panciu; the President and the responsible of fund raising spent some days at the beginning of September in order to visit the Centre, to exchange ideas and future plans with local staff and volunteers. IBO Italia stongly believes in the importance of positive relationships between the Italian desk and the local project, because it’s the first fundamental step in order to build sustainability and transparency.

After such an intensive summer of visits and encounters, the Centre Pinocchio is ready to start a new scholastic year together with its 50 children and youngsters. IBO Italia will guarantee the same enthusiasm and efforts in carrying on such an important project.

Your continuous support is precious for us and helps us changing the lives of many vulnerable children and youngsters! With you, we are stronger!

Andres_artistic workshop
Andres_artistic workshop
IBO President at Centre Pinocchio canteen
IBO President at Centre Pinocchio canteen
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