I am Giulia Polato, born in 1989, scout and aid worker. 

Since I was a child, my family taught me a certain attention to social issues. The environment in which I grew up helped me to develop a certain pattern of thought and action. I remember my mother saying to me with her index finger menacingly relieved not to waste food “because African children die of hunger”, so one day, quite simply, I decided that my life would be meant to make those children have food, like me. 

So I started my university career in Human Rights, but inside I had the doubt of having made a mistake: what if, after having set foot in Africa, I had fled in panic? Therefore, I decided to have a volunteering experience with KaribuAfrika in Kenya, but the cost was rather high and my parents could not afford it, so after a babysitting and collecting money by myself, in the end I paid the trip by myself. And… I did not run away: I worked in slums with HIV-positive women without backing out and when I came home, I realized that I had found my way: international development cooperation. 

I have worked in various African countries (Kenya, Burundi, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Guinea Conakry), holding different roles, also with strong responsibility thanks to my sense of duty, of my abilities and above all the power of the human network, which manages to bring the team where the individual alone cannot.I have always been fascinated by the story of the hummingbird, which teaches us that the smallest bird in the world, with courage and determination can do its part to put out the fire in the forest. 

It is my work as Country Representative and Project Manager for Mani Tese, in Burkina Faso, that gives me the opportunity to do my part to “leave the world a little better than I’ve found”. For that, I choose every day to get my hands dirty and to put myself at risk in the first person, aware that differences are the true wealth on which we can build a future of peace.