Formica Coriandolo

Since I was a child, I’ve always thought about going to Africa. Back then there was no internet and on national TV (there were no private networks) services alternated on this continent full of colors, culture and traditions of proud peoples, with others in which its populations were exhausted by lack of food and water. I think I have shared with many peers of that time, an immense pain to see on the screen skeletal children and with a swollen belly, abandoned on a bed and besieged by flies. Deciding to go and help these people at 6-7 years old was as easy choice, but unfortunately I could not go when, years later, growing up, my life changed radically and my focus became on how to survive in this ruthless world.

Change the world

But what was never forgotten is the dream of changing this world. Deciding to come and live in Damanhur and build together with others, a reality based on human and spiritual values ​​has been my way of putting it into practice. Like Damanhur, many other communities have also grown in the world and a network of solidarity has led all these realities to share their mutual achievements in the various fields linked to sociality, sustainability and spirituality. This network is called GEN. The first time I participated in a gathering of ecovillages and spiritual communities organized by Gen my heart had a jolt of hope. The union and cooperation between those who live every day in order to unite their potential with those of others can truly make a difference for this world, and can show that living together with mutual help and respect, creating small or large communities of solidarity, is possible!

My childhood dream

When Gen’s network extended to include African ecovillages, thanks to the activism of many courageous people, we met Ousmane Ali Pame, then mayor of Guedè Chantier, an ecovillage in Senegal. All those who shared the same desire as children to do something in first person to improve the conditions of life in Africa have felt the same emotion of happiness when we were able to create a partnership between Damanhur and Guedè Chantier.

Reconnecting to the dream I had at 6-7 years old, and being able to achieve it, even if after so many years, is like sewing together pieces of one’s soul. It’s something special that I wish everyone would try.


On March 25th we left for Guedè Chantier in Senegal, in organisaiton of Damanhur Education. Together with the local people we have planted 1,600 fruit trees that will stop the soil erosion and in a few years will provide essential food for the community. Among us, we were six Damanhurians, there was Pellicano, an incredible cook who holded the second seminar on the transformation of food (the first seminar was held in March 2016), teaching all the women of the village how to preserve the food that grows in abundance in a few months to combat the malnutrition that afflicts the village for the remaining months.

This is the result of a dream cultivated in the most powerful part of me: the heart. It is further confirmation that dreams are the most meaningful things that exist in life.

Never give up exchanging your dreams with others, dreams are the seeds of a garden where flowers belong to everyone.

Formica Coriandolo