Olinda: renovation, inclusion and mental health (Milan)
Description: Fabbrica di Olinda – Cooperativa sociale combines different business with the social aim of sustaining and re-integrating into the labour market people with mental problems. Olinda was founded in 1996 to reconvert the former psychiatric hospital of Milan “Paolo Pini” into an area open to the town. At the moment La Fabbrica di Olinda is managing a restaurant, an hostel and a theater in buildings that used to be part of the hospital. We have opened the doors of a former mental hospital to Milaneses and tourists, encouraging the meeting of realities which have always lived side by side, but never crossed each other. Our goal is to show everybody that “closely watching, nobody is normal”.
Type of Work: Olinda is under constant development. We learn while doing and we get things sorted out on the road, so there are always works to be done. Currently we are focusing on the renovation of the hostel: we need to paint common and private rooms. And we are gardening as well, we want to clean up the area nearby and use pallets to make some furniture. These are some easy manual works that will make our place cozier, creating a shared outdoor space where guests, tourists and residents can socialize and feel like at home.
Study Theme: Two half days will be dedicated to the introduction of the project and to the history of La Fabbrica di Olinda, with a visit to the OstellOlinda, Jodok Bar and Restaurant and the theater La Cucina. We will talk about the situation of people with mental health problems starting from law Basaglia, that has abolished the mental institutes, surfing all the way through the current situation and all the steps we still have to undertake.
Accommodation: Volunteers will sleep in the hostel so that they can fully understand the importance of their job and personally experience all the improvements they will help to make. We have reserved some mixed dorms with shared bathroom and showers for exclusive use of the volunteers. The hostel has a kitchen, volunteers will take care of their own meals. Each volunteer will receive a small towel, the hostel guarantee a weekly change of blanket. Free wi-fi.
Requirements: None. But we won't disapprove carpenters!
Approximate Location: The workamp site is in Milan, in the northern part of the city.
Notes: OstellOlinda is inside the former mental hospital “Paolo Pini”, which is now an area open to the town. You can reach the city center of Milan, plenty of culture and entertainment, in 15 minutes by subway. For those who feel like going on a day trip, in one hour by train there is the town of Como on the lake, an amazing place. Our website is www.olinda.org