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29 March 2019
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H40 Help For Optimism, Gruppo Building and the Tavola Valdese together for Africa

Turin, March 29, 2019. Art, reluctant to definitions, as a representation of sustainable development and expression of social cohesion, is the center of a project for Africa and the local communities of Madagascar. Since 2014, the NGO Help for Optimism (H4O) has developed opportunities for resilience in Madagascar in order to build infrastructure of rights to guarantee social, economic and cultural sustainability for indigenous communities. The Building Group, which deals with patronage through the preservation and renewal of historical living as well as embodying quality leisure and social life, joins H4O for a philanthropic intervention in Africa that combines engineering, construction and art. The project “Building Optimism: engineering and art for sustainable development in Madagascar” will be told at Circolo dei Lettori on Monday 8 April (at 9 pm, great hall) by its creators and protagonists Edoardo Bono, CEO of H4O, Luca Boffa, CEO of the group Building and Rossella Traverso, independent curator for H4O.

“We are very happy that Building has decided to help us in Madagscar. We immediately found important synergies: we both look at engineering and construction as an opportunity to create well-being and positive change at 360 degrees. The challenge is always to create a set of structures that form a whole, interacting harmoniously with the surrounding environment ” tells Edoardo Bono, engineer of Water, Sanitation & Health and creator of Help for Optimism (H4O). “Always building places for living and investing in the promotion of art for all are at the center of our work. Today, even more so with H40, thinking of contributing to improving the quality of life of people living in Madagascar is of great value and represents for us an important philanthropic intervention between engineering and construction to which art contributes as a link between sustainable development and social cohesion. ” declares Luca Boffa, CEO of Gruppo Building SPA

The H40 e Building project will be developed in Antamotamo, a small rural village whose Malagasy name means “land of turmeric” located on the island of Nosy Komba in northwestern Madagascar. The collaboration between H4O and Building, thanks to the help of the Tavola Valdese, involves the construction of 50 bathrooms for each of the houses in the village. However, the intent goes beyond the construction alone, with the will to involve the inhabitants of Antamontano giving life to an action of street art, the most shared form of art. For the occasion it was decided to work with two well-known artists among street art lovers, Luca Ledda Illustrator, Italian and Turin and Fredone Fone, Brazilian from Rio, who in the past have already joined forces for a job in social responsibility in Mexico in 2017. In Antamatomo, the WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) project led by H4O for the construction of the hygienic islands will start immediately, from mid-April; completion is scheduled for the summer, while artists should arrive in Madagascar this fall.

“For years, Building has recognized art as an important catalyst for architectural and social cohesion, and it was precisely this that led us to turn to them to realize our first important artistic project,” concludes Edoardo Bono.

Help for Optimism (H4O) is a non-governmental organization established in 2014 to contribute to the resilience and development of vulnerable communities in the North West of Madagascar. The mission of H4O is to build an infrastructure of rights and opportunities to guarantee the health, dignity and well-being of the native population with a view to social, economic, cultural and environmental sustainability. By adopting a holistic and participatory approach, H4O works side by side with local communities, focusing on their future, developing their skills and helping them to appropriate their resources. Founded by the engineer and project manager Edoardo Bono, H4O specializes in the implementation of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) projects: projects aimed at guaranteeing access to clean water, bathrooms and sanitary and sanitary facilities to enable the improving public health conditions. These WASH interventions are part of a 360-degree development model: from the beginning H4O works on multiple fronts including education, economic development and women’s empowerment. Examples of key programs include Tsara Tsiky, the first Malagasy chocolate of Nosy Komba toothpaste company, two companies entirely run by local populations and economically viable. These two important initiatives are accompanied by professional training programs, collaborations with local schools, interventions to strengthen social cohesion through sport. The ambition of H4O is to create a development model that embraces the peculiarities of the local context and that, piece by piece, help the communities to benefit from human rights and to take the path of sustainable development.