Africa is a huge continent, composed by 54 countries, “tons of” ethnicities, cultures, languages, religions. Nonetheless, too often people talk and write about it as a unique reality, with no distinctions within itself, where warfare dominates, together with anger and diseases. The world of aid, full of compassion and charity, spread out images of this kind: great-eyed kids, languishing and waiting for our charity, population in extreme poor conditions, which only our developed and technologically advanced society can aim to save.
In this way, we totally ignore a reality made also of countries where different ethnicities and religions can live close to each other and peacefully, of rapidly developing metropolitan realities, of youths so eager to be acknowledged that they can and they actually do reach the top of the excellence.
However, we ignore above all causes of such troubles that affect Africa, just because we prefer not to gather at the responsibilities of Western countries, or to believe that sins can be easily forgiven by offering money and aid.
We have been volunteering in Italy as well as in Senegal itself since 2001. We are a group composed by really different people, in terms of age and cultural background. Nonetheless, we are all linked to each other by forward-looking ideals and ideas. Once in Africa, we forwarded a deep, somehow inner, discussion, on stereotypes notwithstanding we were endowed with. Still, it is a long lasting process, which brought us to discovering such a beautiful reality, which though has suffered for long time but is now constructing a horizon of hope. Courageously, stubbornly.
We do feel a strong need to go beyond aid and charity, because we do believe change comes through culture, knowledge, information, confrontation, self-discovery and challenge and not through funds and in-kind features. We do feel to fight for a world of equal opportunities and this struggle must start from ourselves.
Development, culture, society and beyond. We want write about Africa and the like. We want to talk about something, which is really close to our daily life. This, however, has been depicted for long as a far and unknown land, its people are “the others”, whom we should not care about.
We want to discuss through articles, studies, reading suggestions. We will do it by introducing you to our field experience, to foster the debate, to the reciprocal benefit and growth. We want to provoke the exchange of views, make you reason, but above all, write. We want to collect more voices into a single platform, in order to increase the exchange of opinions, to learn, to know, to travel. We want to go beyond.