Girineza on “Corriere della Sera”

An article on Girineza on the daily Corriere della Sera:

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Girineza Burundi: a better future for 10 african children, by Ilaria Leccardi

Folling in love with Africa to the point of deciding to stay and live there. Leaving for a professional project and then creating her own one, involving street childrenin order to give them the chance to a better future. It’s the story of Martina Bacigalupo, professional photographer from Rapallo, known internationally for her black and white photography and co-founder of Girineza. A dream come true.

All started from the encounter of Martina, the socio-cultural animator Fabrice Nsengiyumva and the at the time director of Sport Sans Frontieres, Sonia Grabot, during a photo project in the refugee camp of Sabe in Butererem bujumbur, Burundi.

My personal encounter with the organization took place in Rapallo, during a sport event organized by Ginnastica Tigullio ASD (the Polvere di Magnesio Festival). A quick encounter with Girineza but intense enough to allow to understand the importance of this project.

The idea was simple: target ten people from the camp, of between 6 and 15 years of age, all involved in the production of bricks. Give them the opportunity to go back to school, socialise and do cultural activities; have access to clean water and at least one meal per day; receive health care and support to get identification docu;ents for those who didnt have them. A lot of will to change things and there it was, Girineza! With Fabrice, the animator, Claudine the cook, Mama Dishon the fac-totum.

Last year, thanks to the support of friends Girineza finally obtained the offical status of Burundian ASBL. Two new projects started then: the “cafe restau’, a restaurant intended to be an income generating source for the organization, in order to be less and less dependent on external aid; and “Tugire Umwete” (in Kirundi it means ” we are brave”), a collective income-generating activity for the parents of the children who rent a crop field, take care of the crops and then sell them in the neighbourhood.

To exist, Girineza needs 50 euros per month per child. An accessible ammount for many of us, and which can change entirely the life of a child.

Instead of talking about the negative and painful events of our planet I chose today of dedicating those lines to a positive project, to the story of an italian woman who wanted to give her contribution to a reality distant from ours through her work and her passion and her capacity of “reading” the world around her.

For more information and to give a donation to Girineza, please send an email to:


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