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Terra: international cooperation, peace, non-violence and inter-cultural relations

Terra is a not for profit association that has been active in Cagliari and in Sardinia since 1994. We are involved with non-violence, peace, international cooperation, inter-cultural relations and education for a sustainable use of natural resources.

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Our activities

In the first years of activity, in collaboration with the Passaparola Cooperative, the association organized training courses, seminars and events on mediation and peaceful conflict resolution. Since 2000, Terra has been part of the “InRete” network, organized by the Ngo CISP – International Center for the Development of Peoples, based in Rome, with the objective of creating a network of south-central Italian associations committed to the fundamental theme of education for development. In 2001, as part of a national program of education for development and intercultural awareness coordinated by the CISP, a training course on “positive conflict management,” was held, within which it established an exchange program with Bosnia. Since 2003, activity has been focused on the subject of water and the importance of its recognition as a common good. From 2003-2005, Terra participated in the national project of education for development “Altriponti“, oriented to the acquisition of project management tools for ngos. The project leds to the creation of the “bridge of water” initiative: an investigation and an awareness campaign geared towards the know-how, politics and use of water, within which a bridge of south-south cooperation with Tunisia was begun.

The awareness campaign was carried out through the compilation and distribution of a cd-rom with teaching methods centered, at a local level, on the overriding importance of water; on traditional uses of water in Sardinia, and, at a global level, on desertification, and on the privatization of water. It was implemented during an exchange trip to Tunisia’s places of water – particularly at Siliana, Tataouine and Deibhet. This was in collaboration with ETAF – the local association of Consumers, the Association of Engineers of Siliana and the Association of the Friends of the Museum of the Memory of the Earth of Tatouine. In collaboration with this latter association, the exhibition “Desert of Water” (Deserto d’Acqua) was organized in Cagliari (november 2005): materials from the Tataouine’s Museum of the Memory of the Earth, photos and objects of the region, the native populations that live there and their connection with water, fruit of years of research in the territory and in the unknown routes of the Sahara, were exhibited to the public. As part of the exhibition an encounter-debate called “Sardinia and Tunisia meet on water themes: uses, know-how and good practices” was organized.

Within the same project, the association organized a series of screenings of “Hands on Water. Movies in discussion” with the collaboration of the Cineteca Sarda. The initiative was intended to help make the public aware of the importance of water, an irreplaceable source of life that must be considered “common good” for humanity, a right that must be guaranteed to all human beings. In 2006-2007, in collaboration with the “La Triangola” Association, Terra promoted the “Terracquea” project, awarness raising routes of education to water savings and to the mindful use of education towards the development of responsible citizenship aimed at middle and high school students, university students, teachers and cultural operators, administrators, male and female citizens. It was carried out through public debates and the screening of documentaries and movies proceeding from different parts of the world, on themes of desertification, scarcity of water and its privatization.

The “Sekota” project

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Since 2006, the Terra Association has participated in the Sekota project – “Optimization and study of the use of hydrological resources in the Sekota (Ethiopia) Basinto support civil waterworks for the Sekota Hospital. The project was financed through the 2005 budget for the Sardinian Region as part of the regional law for decentralized cooperation. The project, headquartered at the Hydro-control research center and partnered with the University of Sassari (Agriculture Department, Department of Land Engineering, Section of applied Geology), the University of Cagliari (Department of Land Engineering), the NGO Coopi and the Fa.test Ltd, foresees the realization of structures and support of the management of hydrological resources in the district of Sekota, in Ethiopia.

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As part of the project, Terra carried out in Sekota, together with the ONG Coopi, a medical-sanitary awareness program for basic hygiene and correct use of water. A grand event, with interviews, poetry competitions, theater representations and a concert with Ethiopian and Italian musicians – all centered around the theme of water took place on August 25th, 2007. The date for the festival was optimal, just after Ascenda, the Ethiopian fertility festival, and few days before the Ethiopian Millennium. The awareness campaign also included the designing and printing of a leaflet showing correct hygienic practices, illustrated by an artist from Sekota and distributed throughout the territory by local social workers.

Thanks to the Municipality of Villanovafranca, a musical CD was also made, which collected the sounds of Ethiopian musicians, recorded at Sekota by Giacomo “Jahka” Mottura and Ilario Frau, Terra’s President and volunteer, that re-worked traditional music in a studio with the participation of different Italian musicians: Massimino and Nadia of Down Town Rebels, Davide Suppo of the Dub Travellers, Tiziano Dessi of Tribu Mediterranea, JeanPierre La Marque of Triba and Francesca Chiriati of Malicanti all took part.

The CD is available with a donation of at least 12 Euro. With the funds collected, Terra contribute to projects and micro-initiatives carried out in the region of Wag-Hamra (of which the little city of Sekota is the administrative capital) by the NGO Coopi, local partner present in Ethiopia since 1994.

2,000 Euros have already been collected so far, and sent to the Sekota community. This will be used to guarantee the local population easier access to water resources, in addition to promoting their correct use. Of particular importance is the construction and the rehabilitation of wells and fountains, and to provide local population to technical information for the maintenance of pumps and community awareness of hygieno-sanitary norms.

The CD may be obtained from the Terra or ordered via the website www.associazione-terra.eu. It is also available at the online shop of the Italian weekly “Carta,” which was reviewed in the 26/2008 edition.

The “Baobab – Intercultural paths” project

The project “Baobab – Intercultural Paths” funded in 2012 by the Sardinia Region Directorate General of Education aims to improve between young people youth dialogue, exchange on intercultural issues, gender equality and citizenship awareness, preventing stereotypes and prejudices. Planned activities are workshops, conferences, the “Nuovomondofilms screening, a photography contest; the activities, through the use of non-formal languages, want to develop understanding and active acceptance of ‘”other”, encouraging participation and promoting positive models and lifestyles, based on solidarity and interculturality.

For more information and contacts:

www.associazione-terra.eu | e-mail: associazione.terra@gmail.com