Sicily has problems with unemployment, corruption in the local government and of course in some towns the Mafia.
Local people especially the young are discouraged regarding their future prospects. Unless one knows influential people in the work force it is difficult to get work.
Young people take the wrong direction in life because they believe their future is blank.
My aim is to encourage them to get involved in the community and be exposed to tourism where they can have interact with people from outside who show appreciation for their community which in turn will stimulate the young and make them value in where they live.
Encourage them to not give up and persevere in creating a better future for themselves.
Inspire them to look beyond the moment, create values and purpose which are elements worthwhile fighting for, to create a better future.
Community projects/volunteering opportunities/donations from guests:
- Helping the economy by encouraging the young people to help in the museum or library, assisting in keeping the village clean, participating in community life, providing ideas on how we can create a better environment for all. In return the young people will receive a small wage or a prize for their contributions.
- We are in the process of setting up a small library with books of history, literature, art, flora/fauna, general knowledge and other subjects relating to the area, that have been donated by professors who lived nearby so creating a meeting place for the locals and holidaying guests.
- Weekly gatherings with the locals to clean the streets of the village and surrounding area.
- Inviting the people in the village to participate in a nature walk on paths in the surrounding area. Apart from a communal activity the object is to encourage them to provide information of the walks to the visitors that come into the village.
- Negotiations are currently in progress to turn an old olive press into a museum which would include local farming equipment and traditions and by charging a small entrance would bring money into the local economy.
- Providing guests with information regarding restaurants, bars and general stores in the village, with the aim of increasing business.
- Daily tours available to visit the shepherd to see the traditional way of cheese making where the shepherd will receive a contribution for his time dedicated to this project.
Cultural information you give guests:
- Walks have been written up including anything of particular interests on the walking route. The walks will be put in all rental accommodation for guest’s use and to attract visitors into the village.
- The paths will be marked for easier recognition of the route.
- Developing a calendar with local festivities which are so much part of Sicilian life. In December we organise the Sagra dei Cardi (cardoon, local vegetable) and invite people, to help to cook the cardoons and prepare games for the children.
- An extensive information file is placed in the rental accommodation with things to do in the area eg, visits to the shepherd and to an old olive press, to villages in the Madonie Mountains which are gradually are depopulating, so helping the local economy.
- Educating the property owners to create a better environment for the guests.
- using low voltage light bulbs
- using ecological products
- putting local products in the accommodation for guests’ use – oil, jams, pickled vegetables, preserved tomatoes, coffee (produced in Palermo) etc.
- using glass bottled water and milk and avoiding plastic
- In Sicily it is still the way of life to use seasonal produce which are grown locally. A van that comes into the village twice a week and sells local produce. The older generation are still cultivating the land and it is still a common thing to grow vegetables and fruit to sell at the local markets or take around to villages.
- Encourage the general store to sell locally made traditional products so that the guests can buy directly from the village.
- Support the local general stores rather than the larger supermarket.
Waste reduction - Re-cycling bins placed in all rental accommodation and in the village.
Conserving water - Making the guests aware of the water shortage problems asking them to conserve the water as much as possible.
- Local water is currently being analysed to make sure it is drinkable, or alternatively we are encouraging supplying water in glass bottles to avoid using plastic bottles.
- Conserving electricity - Low voltage light bulbs in the accommodation and village where possible
Encouraging wildlife - The rental accommodation is in the Regional Park of Madonie Mountains where there are regulations for conservation, which the guests will be informed of.
Organic gardening practices - Organic gardening is still part of Sicilian tradition, people use organic manure
Environmental cleaning products - All cleaning products are purchased from local suppliers, with certification of its bio authenticity.
Building materials - re-cycling bins, fencing, pots and enclosures in the village are made from chestnut wood and other natural materials.
Conservation projects/charities you support & volunteering opportunities/donations from guests - Donations are an incentives for young people to help to maintain the in village (roads, paths etc) and improve the appearance of the village by placing pot plants (indigenous typed, if possible) in the streets.
Measures to educate staff & guests about your environmental practices - Weekly meetings, one-to-one advice, written procedures are methods of education.
Office practices - Using re-cycled paper to print information, re-cycling printing cartridges, re-using paper.
”Museo degli Incontri” - museum where all the visitors can leave something behind of their culture or country. Since all of you have visited Sicily and we have given you something of our country, I ask if you could send a postcard or something of where you live, so that I can begin the museum
This website supports the Addiopizzo committee which helps businesses that denounce the extorsion racket in Palermo.
The Addiopizzo committee started in 2004, by two young men who were thinking of opening a pub. Their main concern was “what if the Mafia asks us for the pizzo?” The 'pizzo' is a protection racket system the mafia uses by intimidating and extorting money from businesses with the aim of gaining control of the territory.
The following day they placed stickers all over Palermo with the following:
“ an entire population that pays extortion is a population without dignity”
Addiopizzo have members from all over the world for further information: ADDIOPIZZO