STAND UP FOR LIFE MADAGASCAR is a project of the homonymous association born in 2012, at the behest of its founder Valentina Bargelli, who after graduating in biology and then specializing in clinical biochemistry decides to travel and visit various countries in Africa as a volunteer. Following the meeting with a malnourished girl in Madagascar, who weighed only seven kilos at the age of seven, Valentina decides to found the association together with Francesca, an optometrist and also a volunteer in Africa, and Marcel, a Malagasy logistician and translator for projects of volunteering in Madagascar, thus giving life to the “Giulia Project” in Ambovombe, in the south of the country.
The main intention of the association is to protect life and encourage the fight against underdevelopment and hunger, based on fundamental values such as solidarity and the defense of human and child rights. Through the support of humanitarian programs, conducted by specialists in the field and local staff, it is committed to combating child malnutrition, tropical diseases, to sensitize local populations to correct hygienic-sanitary behavior and to promote the social, cultural and economic development of the territory.
The first step of the Giulia Project was to start the “Mensa della Speranza / Canteen of Hope” under a wooden gazebo for 70 children. The growth in the number of users over the years has prompted the association to design a space that could accommodate everyone, so in 2018 the construction of the “Casa della Speranza / House of Hope” began for the children of Ambovombe, officially inaugurated in February 2023.
Today the House of Hope provides about 200 meals a day through the canteen and takes care of the health of children, through daily health assistance and by sending of the most serious cases to specialized medical centres. The children are instructed on essential hygiene rules and are allowed to shower and brush their teeth every day before returning to their homes.
In addition, the association has launched a schooling program for the users, provides distance support to those with more urgent needs and over the years has supported small projects in other countries such as Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe.
Following the inauguration of the House of Hope and therefore the achievement of the main associative purpose, Stand Up for Life decided to disband and donate the project to Busajo NGO on April 2, 2023. Valentina Bargelli became a member of Busajo and will continue to be the main referent of the Stand Up for Life Madagascar project.
The new Stand Up for Life path with Busajo NGO envisages an enrichment of the educational program aimed at schooling the young users of the Canteen.