My name is Gabriele Pineider, I was born and raised in Florence, I met Mani Tese when I was 17 thanks to friends of my parents who were part of the local volunteer group.
In the summer of 2008 I took part in my first work camp, in Finale Emilia, and from there I was struck by love at first sight and my story as a volunteer started.
As a volunteer I have taken part, over the years, in various work camps, campaigns and banquets.
I met many volunteers, historical or at first experience, and each of them left me something. I think it’s fantastic to meet people of all ages, who do the most disparate things in life, to listen to their experiences and tell each other, feeling connected thanks to what we are doing together. Each activity is made special by the people who participate in it!
Often I’d like to be able to explain what volunteering really means to me, to convince everyone to do this type of experience, but it’s not easy.
Surely it is done for the beauty of sharing a social commitment with other people, to learn more about realities more or less distant from us that do not leave us indifferent, to participate in something collective and constructive feeling satisfied. However, I believe that even if these reasons were only part of the answer, it would not matter … because a right and healthy thing like volunteering always has a reason for being!
However to the question “why do you do it?” I like to answer ironically “to find the answer of why I do it!”.
But what I know for sure is that being a Mani Tese volunteer means feeling part of a family. Wherever you are, if you are dealing with Mani Tese people, you feel you are at home; because the spirit of Mani Tese is present, with all the beautiful nuances given by the place and by the different people.
A spirit made of positivity and energy! For me Mani Tese is this.