"Mornings we work the land and in the afternoons we work on the maintenance and restoration of the sites in the old town." This is a typical day for LUISS students who have chosen to participate in the E!State Liberi! project and to work the lands confiscated from the mafia alongside the cooperatives of Libera Terra.
E!State Liberi! is one of the initiatives from VolontariaMENTE, the innovative LUISS program that gives students the chance to take part in volunteer activities that have a real ethical, practical and social impact.
Thanks to this program, a group of students recently spent a week at Melito Porto Salvo, in the province of Reggio Calabria, near the Consorzio Terre del Sole. The project was divided into different activities: agricultural work, the preparation of lands for cultivation, the restoration of the ancient village of Pentedattilo, and cultural education on what it means to fight against the mafia. All of these activities were carried out alongside an association that, since 2006, through the management of agricultural, industrial and commercial activities, has used confiscated lands to provide work as well as social, health and educational services to people in need.
"The goal of the volunteer program on the lands confiscated from the mafia is that of spreading a culture that is founded on legality and on social justice, which can effectively counter the culture of violence, privilege and blackmail," explains Giovanni Lo Storto, LUISS Guido Carli’s General Manager. "With this project and other similar ones that we are implementing in other Italian cities, LUISS would like to convey to its students the principle of positive influences, a vision based on the values of solidarity and courage that brings together education and the real world."