Thanks to Unicoop Tirreno, Amina and 170 other children around the world can go to school

Through the “Basta un gesto” (It only takes a simple gesture) initiative, Unicoop members and employees have been contributing to the Distance Support project for 22 years.

Countries Kenya
Date 08.08.2023

In the last 22 years, Unicoop Tirreno has been collaborating with AVSI to ensure support, inclusion and education to children around the world

The Unicoop Tirreno cooperative joined AVSI Distance Support Program in 2001, thanks to the "Basta un Gesto" (“It only takes a simple gesture”) initiative. Members’ donations, the voluntary payroll deduction of 1 euro of around 420 employees, fundraisers organized by the members' committees in different places around Italy and direct contributions by the cooperative: through all of this, for 22 years Unicoop has been directly supporting education – and therefore development – for the many children that AVSI meets all around the world.

Each of the 22 Unicoop Tirreno members’ sections supports about 8 children. In 2022, Unicoop Tirreno has therefore ensured continuous support for 171 children.

Amina’s testimony and the inclusion of AVSI’s Distance Support Program in educational projects

Amina Adan Mohamed is one of the children supported by Unicoop Tirreno. She is 12 years old and lives with her father and her two brothers in Laini Saba, a village in Kibera, one of the largest slums of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

Amina’s father works in a mosque and teaches the Koran to children. This job allows him to make ends meet and to contribute to his children’s education. But in Kibera, finding a safe and quality school is difficult and expensive: most of the schools have untrained teachers, overcrowded classes and crumbling structures.

Thanks to the distance support program, Amina can attend the Ushirika Children’s Center, one of the schools supported by AVSI. Inaugurated in 2002, the school provides quality education to 600 children and teenagers. The center has also established a female college that offers housing and computer classes to many young girls in the slum.

Amina wakes up very early every morning, at 6:15 am, but she doesn’t mind because she loves going to school. In Ushirika, she attends the fifth grade.

Her favorite subject is maths and she is a very good student. She also likes physical education and the practical and art classes, such as sewing, cooking and drawing, that have been included in the new curriculum adopted by the Kenyan Ministry of Education.

This year Amina also attended a county music festival.

This year, Amina has been among the girls involved by AVSI in environmental education projects: together with her classmates she collects waste, sweeps the school courtyard and learns how to tend to native plants after planting them.

Amina, african student from Kibera, Kenya
Amina with one of her teachers shows environmental education work done at school. Amina is one of 171 children supported by Unicoop Tirreno, studying in a school built by AVSI in the Kibera slum in Nairobi.

At school they teach us how to keep the environment clean and how to take care of it


 "I am grateful that my daughter can receive quality education thanks to the support we receive. She is really happy to study and her passion for school motivates me a lot." Adan, Amina's father, says.

AVSI's Distance Support Program

The distance support program supports thousands of children and teenagers in 28 countries around the world in their growth.

The support that AVSI offers is not the same for everyone. It is personalized because it aims to meet the different needs that educators in the field identify through a personal relationship with each child.

Our support is aimed at the individual child, but it also includes a family approach. By this we mean we are committed to helping their families strengthen their social and financial position, and to facilitating their social inclusion. This is done by improving relationships between the family members and their local community. Involving families in the activities and services we offer, sometimes in synergy with other projects, means working to help them be more resilient and to generate positive change for the entire community.

We can only succeed in meeting these needs by working together with the various social stakeholders, such as schools, religious bodies, local NGOs and many other partners. The activities we carry out are testimony to the multi-sectoral nature of our project, aimed at pursuing multiple sustainable development objectives, primarily to ensure that children have access to high-quality education. In fact, we believe that education can support the value of the person when it means not only the transmission of knowledge, but also supporting the development of interpersonal and soft skills. These are necessary skills for facing today’s global problems, and they offer each child the chance to become an engine for change, including in emergency situations.

Unicoop Tirreno, a valuable partner to support vulnerable communities

To ensure our actions are stable over time, it is particularly important for us to find partners to work with such as Unicoop Tirreno. In these 22 years, AVSI has been able to count not only on their financial support, but also on the fact we share the idea that education is essential to promote the development of entire communities. This is why we consider them such valuable partners in our distance support program.