Annual Activities Report 2017

Letter from the president

I have always believed that children deserve a better future and the possibility to live in a world that tries to protect them from all kinds of danger. Therefore, for nearly 12 years with Pistorio Foundation I did whatever it was necessary to create contexts where all children could have access to a good education despite the disadvantaged conditions they lived in.

Thanks to all the supporters that decided to join our cause also this year we are continuously making the difference for all children we have been able to touch. Together, since the beginning of the activities we helped: over 3.500 underprivileged children to have access to school, basic health care, and nutrition;  513 students to successfully complete Professional School; to complete over 45 school and village infrastructure projects; and to impact positively over 32 village communities with our actions.

Results like these require an effective and efficient management of all the resources available. We are so grateful to all the stakeholders that have helped us reaching these targets. I would like to thank our board members, partners, volunteers and donors who have always been supporting us along this journey.

We have achieved so much along the years for children, but we still have so much more to do! Therefore, we invite all our friends to continue support our shared cause – giving children what every child deserves: a better future full of lights and colours.

Together, we can meet the challenge of helping children improving their lives and as a consequence those of their families and communities realising a long term change.

Sincerely,
Pasquale Pistorio

Our Identity

 

The Pistorio Foundation is a non profit organisaton that was created in 2005 to protect the basic right of every child to receive a good quality education, considering it as a precondition to create a solid social development, in all contexts with a specific attention to the most unprivileged ones.

Through education all the individuals can clearly have all the tools that are needed to create a better future for themselves, their relatives and ultimately for their communities.

With this clear belief we do our best to give our students better chances in life, receiving a higher level education, boosting in this way their quality of life and their future perspectives.

The achievements we have reached till now are the result of the systemic approach we use in the intervention areas that bring us working together with our partners, volunteers and local resources giving a particular attention to the efficacy and efficiency of all our actions.

OUR JOURNEY SO FAR

OUR JOURNEY SO FAR

 

Our Mission and Approach

Our Mission and Approach

 

In 2017 The Foundation has continued the implementation of its program in the key intervention areas. In our daily activities we continuously offer the needed support to our beneficiaries so that they can have access to a good quality education in primary, secondary and vocational schools. The feedbacks we receive from our network composed of partners, trainers, local staff and students reassures us that we are going in the right direction and that we are able to make the difference for the people we touch.

Meantime we are continuing the holistic village approach that characterizes us together with the scholarship programs which empower our beneficiaries to have access to a more sustainable future.

Our Mission
The motto of Pistorio Foundation can be summarized in the following words: “On the way to school on the way to life.” On the base of this simple concept we have elaborated our daily mission which is to improve the living conditions of children in the poorest communities, where there is the greatest need, with a key focus on education.  Following this strong belief Pistorio Foundation has been capable of assuring scholarships to over 3.500 children while over  513students have accomplished their schooling from primary to professional school, obtaining a professional school diploma.

The Village Approach
While we implement our mission we never forget what we have defined as the Village Approach. The starting point of this concept is that we have to give access to education to all children with a particular focus on the most unprivileged ones like those leaving in remote rural areas.

In this context Pistorio Foundation will not only provide education to its direct beneficiaries, but it will also take care of the needs of the whole villages providing ad hoc health and hygiene programs that can promote the well-being of the entire community, helping it to grow in a more conscious and sustainable way.

In every community we work in, we start first managing the key issues in education and health for children and then we partner with local communities to give our help to improve the creation of those infrastructures that can boost a stronger development. In these villages, as a consequence, the school becomes the centre of interactions. Here kids can learn on one side what is needed for their academic path and on the other what it can be useful to know on how to grow their own food, to collaborate with their mates and where the whole community can be not only engaged in children’s education, but also in learning how to improve its living conditions. In this way we create a kind of “hub” where parents can learn the general value of education and therefore can become more engaged with the schooling path of their children.

The two key pillars of this approach are:

  • Scholarship Programs which provide school age children what they need to attend school like: transport to school, school supplies, uniforms, school meals, yearly medical check-ups, and dormitory fees if their schools are far away from their homes.
  • Infrastructure Program which aims at building and improving school infrastructures to ensure a better environment to learn. Moreover, where it is possible, we also try to encourage gardening and agriculture activities at schools so children can learn how to grow and harvest crops.

Education: an inspirational buzzword
Despite the huge progresses of the last few years, there are still too many children who see their rights to receive education denied day after day. Restricted access to education is for sure one of the strongest tool to transmit poverty to future generations. Education is a key human right as it is clearly declared in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [1] and in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child [2]. Every child should have the right to have access to a good quality education in order to have more chances in life to build a better and brighter future.

Education has to be seen as a powerful instrument capable of reducing poverty while boosting economic development and increasing incomes. As a matter of fact, it increases the chances every person has of having a healthy life while promoting equality, and with it a more solid democratic context.

On this base, education has to be seen as an essential tool for the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. The global goal 4 on education,  in fact, wants to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” [3].

Investing in good education, with a particular focus on the early childhood schooling, can bring the highest returns. Children who have access to a good quality education earlier can achieve better results along their educational path. It will, as a consequence, have positive outcomes later on. On the base of these facts, it is clear that the term education needs to become the buzzword for every society that wants to assure a stable, equal and shared development

[1] For further details: http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

[2] For further details: https://www.unicef.org.uk/what-we-do/un-convention-child-rights/

[3] For further details: http://www.globalgoals.org/global-goals/quality-education/

Governance
The values of transparency, integrity, and commitment to our mission guide the activity of the Foundation. The implementation of the mission is assured by the constant presence and support of the following people:

  1. Board of Directors and the Director of Operations: they define the strategy and give precise directions to the organization;
  2. Country managers: they work on the field managing the projects directly and reporting to the Headquarters. They also coordinate the relationships with local partners, institutions and government bodies;
  3. Volunteers: they are dedicated people who support the Foundation carrying on different tasks such as conducting filed missions to audit projects, updating communication material, collecting funds, just to name few examples.

Organizational Structure of Pistorio Foundation

 

Organizational Structure of Pistorio Foundation

 

2017 at a glance

Key Results

1.     Beneficiaries

  • Students on Scholarship: 1.253 direct beneficiaries
  • Students who completed Professional School: 38 students

2.     Investments:

  • 2017 Investment Budget: 174.174 Euros
  • 2017 Overhead Costs (legal/auditing/banking fees): 19.257 (11% of Total Budget)

Interventions areas

Thailand
Context and challenges
Over the last 40 years, Thailand has made significant progresses in social and economic development, moving from a low-income country to an upper-income country in less than a generation. As a direct consequence poverty decreased steadily and in 30 years it dropped from 67% in 1986 to 7.2% in 2015.  However, poverty and inequality continue to pose significant challenges. In fact, as of 2014, over 80% of the country’s 7.1 million poor live in rural areas and an additional 6.7 million were living within 20% above the national poverty line and remained vulnerable to falling back into poverty. As a result, big and growing disparities in household income and consumption characterize specific regions of the country with pockets of poverty remaining in the Northeast, North, and Deep South. In this context the right to education is still challenged for children living in these areas and for ethnic minorities, migrants, refugees who cannot live but in this very poor and remote regions.

Pistorio Foundation’s presence in the country

Chiang Rai Village Project

Pistorio Foundation decided to take action in the country back in 2006 with the priority of supporting the most unprivileged children coming from hill tribes and remote areas who were clearly living in situation of huge poverty and need.  The Chiang Rai Village Project was the first concrete step taken in the country to show the attention of the Foundation towards the basic needs of needy beneficiaries to receive a good quality education and therefore to have access to the right tools to change the future of the whole community they belonged to also implementing ad hoc agriculture programs.

Even today the project is still the key activity of Pistorio Foundation summarizing the spirit of what we call the village approach, through which we do not only provide education to children, but we also contribute to the creation of those infrastructures that can boost the development of the community we are working in. The presence of Pistorio Foundation in the country has become stronger year after year. Since the inception of the program in 2006 we have been able to support over 3.000 hill minority children giving them what was needed to successfully attend school such as: school supplies, meals, medical checkups, transportation, school fees just to name few examples. In parallel we worked to improve school infrastructures and the general awareness on topics like hygiene and medical assistance. This approach helped significantly improve the living condition of the community, contributing to the decrease of common illnesses. In 2017 we have been supporting over 1.160 students from 12 villages relying on the infrastructures that we have contributed to build along the years such as: primary and secondary schools, kindergartens, nurseries, teacher accommodations, libraries, computer rooms and sanitation facilities, etc. To enrich the activities this year we launched the noodle maker project at Huay Nam Khun School, where we have proposed to produce noodles to supply the canteen for all students attending the school. We contributed to the initiative by purchasing the needed equipment and at present the students are collaborating and helping in the kitchen to produce their own food.

Moreover, we have also organized a new activity at VBAC where we initiated a new collaboration between the parents of those students that are currently studying here and Pistorio Foundation. We have sent them an invitation to come and help at our dormitory, giving real concrete supports like cutting grass, trees, and doing all those services that can help the maintenance of the property.

These projects have been completed with the usual school garden activity. The idea behind this initiative is to teach children how to cultivate and produce food that can be later on consumed in the school canteens.

This initiative combines different targets such as: a first introduction to agriculture and to the related skills that could be further developed in the future to generate a potential income and the creation of a general awareness among the community members on the importance of environmental protection that can be reached respecting the soil through organic agricultural methods.

Parents Giving a Helping Hand at VBAC

Parents Giving a Helping Hand at VBAC

Students Working in the School Garden Project

Students Working in the School Garden Project

From Our Beneficiaries

Weerapong Ar Jor and his mother during the graduation


College-VBAC – Weerapong Ar Jor ‘s story

“My name is Weerapong Ar Jor. I come from Myanmar and I’m the eldest son of the family. My parents did not have the means to support my education and I decided to do my best to make it on my own.

I came to Thailand and I had the chance to arrive at VBAC where now I finally graduated in accounting. I have never thought I would have come this far.

I am so grateful for this amazing result and I would like to thank Pistorio Foundation that has been supporting me through its scholarship program since the beginning of my studies.

I promise that I will try to give back to society all the gifts I was given and I will do my best to help those who are in need”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key achievements in 2017

Scholarship Program

  • 165 students coming from 12 villages in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai provinces were supported in various schools from Kindergarten to University.
  • 70 students were enrolled in our scholarship program, attending professional schools in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and some vocational training centers in Lamphun province.
  • 22 students graduated and received a diploma.
  • Retention rate: 90%
  • Pass rate: 90%
  • 1 student graduated in Industrial Engineering at Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna.

Logistic Support

  • 211 students received transportation from villages to the closest schools in their area.
  • 287 uniforms have been distributed.
  • 43 students at VBAC College were provided with meals throughout the school year of 2017.

Human Resources Support

  • We support 1 assistant to VBAC dormitory.
  • We support 1 kindergarten teacher at Huay Kuk Learning Center

Outcomes since the Inception of the Program

  • The project was launched in 2006 and has reached over 000 students.
  • In 11 years we completed 38 infrastructures projects, namely: 3 Primary Schools, 3 Teacher Accommodations buildings, 1 Secondary School, 3 Kindergartens, 7 Dormitories, 3 Libraries, 3 Computer Rooms, 5 Preschools, 2 Playgrounds, 1 Arts and Music Classroom Building, 3 Canteens, 3 Clean Water Systems, and 1 Health Post.

Burkina Faso

Context and challenges

Characterized by semi-arid savannah and forests, Burkina Faso is one of the world’s most disadvantaged countries. Around 45% of its quickly growing population live on less than US$1.25 a day. Access to sanitation and electricity is poor, while inadequate investment in education and infrastructure make any development gains hard to maintain.

Focusing on the educational reality it has to be mentioned that the country has a very weak education system that faces many issues. The literacy rate is close to 36% with relevant disparities between men (43%) and women (29,3%). [4] The situation is worsened if we consider the huge geographic inequalities, mostly between the urban and rural areas: school attendance rates are five times higher in the region surrounding the capital Ouagadougou in comparison to remote rural areas. Moreover, even where different educational paths are available the quality of teacher training is commonly low and the education system does not meet the needs of the population.

[4] For further details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_literacy_rate

Pistorio Foundation’s presence in the country
Boulkiemdè Village Project

Boulkiemdè Village Project

 

Partnering with Centro Italiano Aiuto All’Infanzia (CIAI), Pistorio Foundation decided to intervene in the country back in 2006 with in an ad hoc project focused on the support of the education of 119 needy students from the rural area of Boulkiemdé.

The intervention had the ultimate goal of improving the enrollment rate of the area while providing basic services to the beneficiaries such as nutrition and hygiene training and health care.

The project was completed in 2007 with the construction of relevant infrastructures in the Primary School of Nibagdo, adding sanitation facilities, kitchen and canteen to the existing buildings. Furthermore, after two years the Foundation continued its efforts in reinforcing the existing facilities, contributing to the creation of a new secondary school in the village of Sogpelcé which would have served over 500 students. The intervention was then completed in 2015 with the support of other donors building three new classrooms and improving the electric and water systems.

Students at the Sogpelcé School

From Our Beneficiaries

Kabore Alphonse


Kabore Alphonse
“Hello, I am Kabore Alphonse.

I’m attending Souka High School.

I would like to say thank you to CIAI and Pistorio Foundation because they are supporting our studies, they are paying our school fees giving us what we need to attend our classes.

I would also like to say thank you to my parents because they have enrolled me in a school where I can have access to a huge and unique opportunity which will give me a different vision on life.

School gives us the possibility of becoming better people and therefore to be useful for our community and country.

I invite all my friends to do what I’m doing in order to become a better person in life.”

 

 

Kiemde Soumaila


Kiemde Soumaila
“My name is Kiemde Soumaila.
I’m attending the high school in Sogpelcé.

The scholarship I’m receiving is helping me attend my classes and also become a better and more responsible person.

The support CIAI and Pistorio Foundation are giving me is fundamental in my daily life. Thanks to them I can have everything I need to continue my study.

If everything goes like I expect and if I continue having good results I can realize my dream to become a doctor contributing in this way to help my family, my community and all the people in need I will meet.

Thank you my dear supporters, with your help I can aspire to have a better life”.

 

 

 

Key achievements in 2017

Sponsored children

  • 20 children were enrolled in the sponsorship program

School results

  • Student teacher ratio: 75 vs. 60 national average
  • Pass rate: 77%
  • Retention rate: 85%
  • Absentee rate of teachers: less than 10 days

Outcome since the inception of the program:

  • The project started in 2006 reaching over 120 students.
  • In 11 years we completed the following infrastructure projects: Nibagdo Primary School expansion including school kitchen, canteen, sanitation facilities, for 150 students; Sogpelce’ Secondary School, including Sanitation Facilities, School Water and Electric Systems, Library, and Computer Room, for over 700 students.

Cambodia: The Back to School Project

Context and challenges

Cambodia is in its third decade of economic development and stability. Moreover, the country has made great efforts in reducing poverty and improving health. Despite these results significant problems still remain. Democracy and basic human rights are still a challenge. Inadequate nutrition is still a problem for over 30% of children and human trafficking is still a sad reality.

The educational system too is facing lots of issues, such as the inequality of participation between boys and girls at school, poor attendance of girls at school, extensive difficulties in communications; problems on hygiene and water supply in education facilities and the lack of good quality education personnel. Despite the clear evidences of the fragility of the education conditions the government still denies this sector the funds that are needed to change the situation.

Pistorio Foundation’s presence in the country

Phnom Penh Back to School Project

Management Class © PSE

In 2006 the Pistorio Foundation, following its key mission to give each child a better future decided to partner with a Cambodian organization, Pour Un Sourire d’Enfant (PSE) to implement a scholarship program with the key scope of giving to needy children dropped out of school the possibility of going back and accelerating their educational path covering two academic years in one.

On this base, children can complete a standard 12 years’ educational path in only six years, afterwards, they can attend a regular professional and vocational school that will empower their skills. Students who have completed their studies at PSE are generally known for their good background and therefore can have access to better jobs.

The Ministry of Education has complimented PSE for its approach and it has been invited to be part of the strategic committee that worked on the activities of all the vocational training centers in several provinces of the country.

Since 2007, the Pistorio Foundation has supported over 180 beneficiaries of which 90 have now a professional diploma that give them the possibility of having a better future.

From Our Beneficiaries

Khorn Sophos at PSE-Institute

 

“Hello I’m Khorn Sophos and I am 22 years old. I come from the Prey Veng province.

I attended the full 4 year course in Administration and Accounting at PSE-Institute. After the graduation I started working at E Penh Company with the role of Hospitality Consultant and I had a good salary of more than 150 USD a month. The classes I had the chance to take at PSE, thanks to the precious support of Pistorio Foundation, were really important to give me the right skills I need for my new job.

In the coming 5-7 years, I am planning to run my own business selling construction materials. First of all, I have to spare enough money, but then I want to try something bigger.

I thank Pistorio Foundation and PSE for helping me becoming an individual, who can have the capacity and ability to compete in a work sector with candidates from other private educational entities”.

 

 

Key achievements in 2017

Supported children

  • 25 children were supported along the year.

Services provided

  • medical care: supported students receive one general medical checkup per year (their families are also included in this service), free medications and specific vaccination when needed;
  • nutrition: students receive breakfasts and lunch on a daily basis. The menus are supervised by a medical team.

Scholarship program results

  • retention rate: 97%
  • pass rate 94,3%
  • student teacher ratio: 35 versus 45 national average
  • absentee rate of teachers: less than four days of absence on average

Outcomes of the year:

  • 1 student has successfully completed professional school in 2017

Outcome since the inception of the program:

  • 91 students have completed professional school since the inception of the program in 2009.
  • Over 180 students have received long-term scholarship support from Pistorio Foundation.

Morocco

Context and Challenges

The Kingdom of Morocco is the most westerly of the North African countries. It has Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, a rocky mountain interior and a history of independence not shared by its neighbors. It has a rich culture which is the bland of Arab, Berber, European and African influences.

Despite general economic progresses reached in Morocco, many problems still jeopardize the social development of the country. If we consider for instance the educational system, we notice that despite new reforms many issues persist. The reached progresses remain insufficient due to the effects of poverty, child labor, the remarkable differences between rural and urban environments, and, above all, the gender inequality in education.

As a possible solution to the existing problems, the Non-Formal Education Program was implemented by the government to diminish illiteracy while promoting education for all. This program in fact, provide a flexible solution for students aged from 9 to 17 years’ old that have abandoned school, helping them to be reintegrated in the educational system. Summarizing, the NFEP program represents a second chance, offered by the government, to dropout students to be re-accepted in the formal school system following an ad hoc program.

 

Students Ready To Start Their Evaluation Exam

Students Ready To Start Their Evaluation Exam

Introducing kids to pastry class

Introducing kids to pastry class

The school curriculum is designed for students aged from 9 to 17 years old. Students can attend professional training classes, together with regular school classes.  Along the school week kids are also free to dedicate free time to extra-curricular activities to help them leaving their lives as normal children having fun and socializing with one another.

The initiative proved to produce a really positive impact on the beneficiaries and these results were acknowledged by the Moroccan Minister of Education itself which sent its compliments for the creativity of the project.

In 2013 the intervention was completed with the construction of the school at our partner’s premises that he is fully dedicated to the NEF program.

This initiative gave further services to our beneficiaries like sanitation facilities, kitchen, canteen and fully equipped classrooms.

 

 

THEATRE CLASS

Theatre Class

From Our Beneficiaries

Zineb Ait Moulay Zine
Zineb Ait Moulay Zine

My name is Zineb Ait Moulay Zine. I have spent over two years in the Community Center of Akhawayn. During this period my teachers supported me and helped me get ready to be reintegrated in the public educational system.

Now I feel, I’m finally able to be more focused during my classes and therefore I have enhanced my reading and writing performance.

My personal motivation in continuing my studies is definitely higher than before and I hope I’ll be able to go on studying to make my dream become true: I want to become a doctor”.

 

 

 

 

Zineb Ait Moulay Zine
Zineb’s mother
“Hello I’m the mother of Zineb Ait Moulay Zine. There are no words to say how happy I am for the experience my daughter was given at the Azrou Center.

My daughter was successfully reintegrated in the public school system thanks to the efforts of her teachers, who not only assisted her academically but also helped her in social and psychological rehabilitation.

I’ve noticed a concrete change in my daughter’s manners, interests and self-confidence. I’m so grateful to Pistorio Foundation that with its constant donations made it possible”.

 

 

Key achievements in 2017

Sponsored children

  • 43 children

Scholarship program results

  • retention rate: 93,3%
  • pass rate: 65,11%
  • student teacher ratio: 40 students per teacher
  • absentee rate of teachers less than 5 days a year

Outcome of the year

  • 11 students inserted in professional schools

Outcome since the inception of the program:

  • The project started in 2010 reaching to date 288 students.
  • 41 students have completed professional school since 2010
Foundation Board Members
Pasquale Pistorio (President)
Piero Martinotti Board Member
Giacomo del Grande Treasurer and Board Member
Elena Pistorio Board Member
Carmelo Pistorio Board Member
Giovanna Bottani Director of Operations
Country Managers
Nalinthiya Navathitikul Thailand
Piero Martinotti Burkina Faso
Mohamed Lasry Morocco
Elena Pistorio Cambodia
Pro Bono Contributors
Mario Orlandi Website Publisher
Francesca Ferrari Project Photography/Filmmaker

Contacts

Fondazione Pistorio
Via Bice Cremagnani
20059 Vimercate (Milano),
Italy
Email:contact@pistoriofoundation.org