For solidarity among peoples
Un ponte per… is a volunteering association born in 1991 immediately after bombings on Iraq ended and international embargo began. The aim was to promote solidarity initiatives in favour of Iraqi people who suffered from war.
Since then, Un ponte per… has been working in close cooperation with the local civil society organizations in order to prevent conflicts, especially in Near East and Serbia, by setting up advocacy campaigns, cultural exchanges and international cooperation programmes.
The Association rejects war as a mean to solve international disputes and works for peace and solidarity among peoples by facilitating encounters among different cultures, languages, religions and traditions with the idea of promoting a more equal and pacific coexistence. Un ponte per… believes that solidarity interventions to help people suffering from war are inseparable from the political commitment to influence on the causes of conflicts.
Un ponte per… considers itself part of the Italian movement for peace that was born in the World Social Forum.
The activities in Italy are implemented mainly thanks to the help of volunteers and members. Funds come from fundraising campaigns and from the financial support of public and private bodies.
For peace and human rights
The Association is present in Iraq since 1991 and was initially called Un ponte per Baghdad. Its first interventions were emergency projects, health care, educational programmes and other projects aiming at recovering the cultural heritage, supporting civil society and defending human rights, with a special focus on the protection of detainees. Since 2005 Un ponte per… has been active also in Jordan to assist Iraqi refugees and to co-operate with organizations working for women rights.
In 1990 during the war in the Balkans, the campaign Un ponte per Belgrado was launched: it helped to create health care centres, to send medicines and provide more than 10,000 refugees with assistance. The involvement continues nowadays with distance support, twinnings and informative campaigns. During all these years the Association has intensified its ties with the Serbian communities in Kosovo by establishing distance support and children hosting programmes.
The campaign Un ponte per Chatila aims at improving the dramatic situation of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, who are still deprived of their basic citizenship rights. The Association promotes the development of distance support, social and health projects and vocational training. After the war of 2006 it initiated projects to face the humanitarian post-conflict emergency, with the aim of intervening for the right to education in the poorest areas of the country.
In Turkey Un ponte per… stands by the Kurdish minority and the democratic forces through the campaign Un ponte per Diyarbakir, which works to create the premises for a reconciliation among the different components of civil society.
The Association is active in Palestine by sending volunteers involved in nonviolent interposition and raising awareness campaigns against the blockade on Gaza and for the rights of Palestinians.
In Italy Un ponte per… continues being committed in launching new bridges of peace towards the Near East and the Balkans through raising awareness and informative campaigns, educational programmes in schools, cultural events, protection of refugees, youth exchanges and field visits.