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Design Thinking Challenge for Zanzibar: a fab-lab, why not?

How to turn plastic bottles into sustainable business opportunities for Zanzibar, respecting the environment and using a creative recycling approach? From 24th to 26th of June, a team of designers, illustrators, architects worked on this challenge! They will thought, discussed and created new ideas at the Milan Impact Hub that, together with ACRA-CCS Foundation, promoted the “Design Thinking Challenge for Zanzibar”.

Nicola Morganti is the new president of ACRA-CCS Foundation

The organization working on development cooperation in Italy and all over the world, changed its board of directors. Elena Casolari will continue as CEO. Here below the goodbye of the outgoing president Locatelli.

ACRA-CCS supports For a Glass of Water

ACRA-CCS supports the Campaign For a Glass of Water, promoted by Euskal Fondoa, partner of our foundation for the water project "Water and governance" in Honduras for a general improvement of integrated management of water resources at a local level.

The aim of the campaign is to spread among communities a reflection on the importance of the access to natural resources, especially access to water and to bring to light the difficulties that show up because of the lack of this resource, in particular on women’s life.

The human right to water is a global challenge we all have to take action because it is also our duty! We need a glass of water for Pastora, a twelve years old girl that live in El Salvador!

Wimdu and ACRA-CCS: Pro Poor Tourism in Zanzibar

Zanzibar: a gorgeous paradise on earth whose economy is highly dependent on international tourism, with hundreds of thousands of people visiting the country every year. A big business that leaves the local communities with very little benefits: only one out of ten dollars spent in Zanzibar goes to improving the living conditions of the most disadvantaged local populations.

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Sustainability lies at the heart of our philosophy and our actions: interventions that will last over time, beyond our mere physical presence, that are economically viable and that prolong their effectiveness and impact in time.
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Examples of sustainable interventions


Establishment of IGA: Income Generating Activities managed by parents and aimed at generating the necessary resources to guarantee running school activities and enabling autonomous operational and financial management of the schools.


Rural schools aiming
for self-sustainability

Strengthening of the Union Rurale des Mutuelles d’épargne et de Crédit du Sénégal (Urmecs), consisting of 12 micro finance banks, with a total of 10.156 members and which forecasts a breakeven in 2014.


A network of agricultural banks recognized
by the government

Promotion of community and participatory management of water and sanitation services that guarantee greater democracy in decision making, in quantity and in the correct provision of the services and their sustainability in time.

Senegal, Tanzania,
Bolivia, Ecuador,

Establishment of committees
for the management of
water and sanitation.

A 2012 law recognizes Farming Organizations as productive and commercial stakeholders and lets them to promote family economy, farming self-management, environmental sustainability of the production and food supremacy.


Support for farming
by the government

Support for a sustainability program so schools can achieve self-sufficiency through the establishment of a social enterprise and aimed at guaranteeing a quality education for boys and girls in the rural areas of the region of Njombe.


An agricultural
training school
that is also
a social enterprise
Activation of a partnership with the national authority that has made it possible to influence national policies and have new norms approved for the management of water distribution and impose water committees in villages, the members of which will be 50% women.


Change to
general laws
regarding water
and sanitation
A health centre of excellence in the capital N'Djamena. The centre comprises also a University faculty a nursing school and a campus for medical students to train local personnel and create a new generation of doctors.


The General Hospital
with Faculty of
Medicine and Surgery

Participation in forums and in the Constituent Assembly has led to the inclusion in the new Constitution of a specific chapter on water that bans its privatization and establishes the need for the integrated management of water resources.


Support for the process
of inclusion in the
Constitution of the right
to water

Social-economic development of the Madunda complex with the improvement of rural electricity distribution provided by a low environmental impact power plant managed by a board formed by local technicians and managers.


of a locally
managed micro
hydroelectric plant
In partnership with other stakeholders (Fem 3, Micro-Ventures, Altromercato and Fondazione Maria Enrica), Opes, the first example in Italy of a non-profit financial vehicle, will invest in social enterprises throughout the world according to a logic of venture philanthropy.

Establishment of Opes

, financial vehicle
for investment
in social enterprises

The three centres, thanks to the volunteer work of the mothers, are run autonomously and are sustainable, they spread the culture of prevention of vertical transmission of the HIV virus, support hundreds of mothers and children and enhance the local knowledge on nutrition.


Support for centres
offering mother and child
HIV prevention

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Lessons learned on the subject of sustainability

resources and solutions
to problems are very often
found locally
local entrepreneurial
are effective
agents of change
social marketing
can be an effective
instrument of sensitization
choice of diverse partners
is instrumental for the
success of the projects
an exit strategy
needs to be
established prior
to a program intervention
personal dignity
must always
be central
change is implicit
of every process
and it needs to be pursued,
not feared
it is important to daree,
to change terminology,
to abandon the dichotomies:
us/them, beneficiaries/donors
it is necessary to know
how to listen beyond the needs,
aspirations and expectations
the education of the new generations
is a factor of
social, economic and cultural sustainability

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In the direction of sustainability

Find sustainable solutions to poverty, pursuing excellence
in partnerships, project focus and competence

with the institutions
on laws
and policies
the best local
and invest
in local talent
Appeal to the social enterprises
as agents of
local knowledge
and combine it
with technological innovation

with actors representing
different interests
Work with the migrant communities
and associations
education as
a motor of

human development
renewable energies
that are suitable for the context
on entrepreneurial
of young men and women

our errors
and our successes


    • aitr
    • colomba
    • colomba
    • cicma
    • comitato sovranita alimentare
    • gruppocrc
    • expodeipopoli
    • european microfinance platform
    • istituto italiano donazione
    • opes fund
    • susana
    • vita
    • win