United World Project


Fresh pasta; hosts for Mass and 3 young Africans

30 May 2023   |   , ,
By Amanda Cima

The official opening of SAM pasta factory recently took place at Mangone, in the province of Cosenza, a small enterprise in the making, insired by the project ‘More than just a welcome’.

On Saturday, 22nd April, three young entrepreneurs – Sadia Diaby (23) Adama Traore (23 ) from Senegal, and Madi Minougouy (22)  from the Ivory Coast – were present at the Opening of their very own co-operative SAM (which spells their initials!), at Mangone (Cosenza); it’s a small factory which produces fresh pasta and also hosts – under the brand name PARTICULAbread for Mass; which might seem a little unusual, since all three are Muslims, but which is all the more a sign integration and willingness to dialogue between different faiths.  The project was inspired by the initiative “More than just a welcome”, run by Solidarity with the South Foundation, part of the cooperative Fo.Co. of Chiaramonte Gulfi (Rg)) and Mi.Fa. of Cosenza, Amu (Action for a United World) and AFN, (New Families Association).  Today, Sadia, Adama and Madi produce and market their product which is already much appreciated by many families, restaurants, and commercial outlets.

The president of the cooperative Adama Traore, together with Sadia Diaby, Madi Monougouy, the Mayor, Orazio Berardi, and don Franco Staffa, parish priest of Piano Lago, were all present to cut the inaugural ribbon.  Also present were the mayor of Rogliano, Giovanni Altomare, with the head of the local Council, Antonio Simarco, and Lucia Nicolette, mayor of Santo Stefano di Rogliano.  A greeting also arrived from the Imam Mokhtar Dramé.

SAM pasta factory is a long story.  Sadia, Madi and Adama arrived in Italy as minors, five years ago.  They were young people with many dreams; they defied the sea and many dangers in order to reach Calabria, at Corigliano.  They were looked after by the Rogliano ‘Welcome and Integration Project – “Casa Ismaele”, run by the Coop. Fo.Co and Mi.Fa and New Families  Association.

After two years came a turning point.  Having learnt the language, they chose to gain a skill in making pasta.   The initiative ‘More than just a welcome’ led to the incubation stage of a business enterprise, providing them with accompaniment and support.  Despite delays due to bureaucracy, today their dream has become a reality.

“We are very happy to have fulfilled our dreams, especially here in Calabria, the place which welcomed us.  At last, our dream for the future has come true – says Madi Minougouy. Whoever has sampled our product has really enjoyed it; we focus above all on quality.  You are all invited to come and taste it! “

This artisan -produced pasta – explains Salvatore Brillo, CEO of the non-profit Casillo Foundation – is thanks to the “More than just a welcome” project.  Here at Rogliano , we have been able to offer professional training leading to professional opportunities.  But I would like to underline one fact: this is not simply a warm welcome initiative; it is a start-up business.  These young people are contributing to society by offering a product, generating profit, enriching society, paying taxes, contributions and rent.  What they are doing is highly innovative; in response to a need: we have supported them, but these young people have taken the project ahead with great dignity”.

“This is a very special experience of collaboration between various realities and associations- commented Gaetano Gabrielle, President of the cooperative Mi.Fa.  – I still remember the day five years ago when we went to collect these children at Corigliano, as they were getting off the boat.  They were handed over to Casa Ismaele, where they grew up and received their education.  Then came the possibility of proposing this enterprise opportunity.  Initially, this extended to Italians as well as foreigners.  But only these three stayed.  We admired their decision to produce not only fresh pasta, but also hosts, saying “We want to produce bread for Mass for our Christian brothers and sisters”.

When I got to know Adam. Madi and Sadia – explains Giovanni Calabrese, who is responsible for the “More than just a welcome” project – I was impressed by their commitment, to realize their dream, without giving up or getting discouraged.  This project has a support network of individual and small businesses, including the Casillo di Corato Flour Mill, in Puglia, which, through the Castillo Foundation, donated 1000 kilos of flour for the startup phase.  But the greatest contribution of all has been from these 3 young people themselves, who have believed in this project and dedicated themselves to it.  They believed in it and in spite of setbacks caused by bureaucracy, they have succeeded in reaching their goal.  Many people appreciate and wish to buy this high-quality product.

Click here for the video of the Opening and the interviews.