L’associazione di volontariato IPPOASI gestisce il santuario Fattoria della Pace, che sorge nel cuore verde del Parco di San Rossore a San Piero a Grado (Pi) ed ospita diversi animali cosiddetti da “reddito” (mucche, asini, cavalli, maiali, capre, galli, galline, conigli) salvati da varie associazioni animaliste da morte certa. In effetti la fattoria svolge un duplice ruolo, quello di rifugio per animali domestici, ma soprattutto di polo per l’educazione ambientale e l’agricoltura sociale.
Gli animali, sottratti da situazioni di profonda sofferenza, approdano in questo luogo dove ritrovano la propria natura e dignità, liberi di muoversi nei tre ettari a disposizione senza impedimenti e godendo della compagnia l’uno dell’altro.
Affrancati dalla schiavitù di dover produrre, sacrificando la loro stessa vita, questi animali assumono in questa Fattoria un ruolo nuovo che arricchisce e assicura loro serenità. Diventano infatti ambasciatori del Regno Animale, esemplificazione vivente della razza a cui appartengono ma anche carichi di individualità (ognuno ha la sua storia, il suo carattere, le sue preferenze, ma tutti agiscono anche in conformità con quanto la natura nei secoli ha plasmato in loro).
I visitatori, quindi, specialmente bambini, possono venire qui per esperire cosa sia una mucca che di solito viene sfruttata per produrre il latte che bevono ogni mattina, ma che invece scoprono non essere solo questo, una gallina con la sua famiglia, i socievolissimi asini, gli intelligenti maiali, le giocose capre… Ma l’esperienza si può approfondire, perché grazie alla sapienza di accompagnatori adeguatamente formati ed alla domesticità degli animali, questo incontro diventa rapporto, diventa relazione, addirittura terapia. Le scolaresche, ma anche i singoli, potranno quindi visitare la struttura ed essere accompagnate in questo percorso di conoscenza ed esperienza relazionale che speriamo possa portare ad un maggior rispetto per gli animali ma anche per tutte le altre alterità. Proprio per il rispetto nei confronti degli animali, che non si intendono mercificare, e per rendere il progetto accessibile a tutti, il costo della visita non prevede un tariffario definito ma è ad offerta libera e volontaria.
Ippoasi,can a simple encounter change a point of view? The Fattoria della Pace Ippoasi Onlus volunteer association was born in 2010 in Marina di Pisa. The pursuit of a more and more respectful relationship with the horses of a riding stable drove its two founders to close a section of the stable and to turn it into a sanctuary for horses. They then began to direct their attention to the problems that afflict other animals, who are equally exploited.
And so there began to arrive cows, donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs, hens and rabbits, now all guests of the sanctuary, which in January 2013 moved to the Migliarino – San Rossore – Massaciuccoli park in San Piero a Grado.
A new regard The aim of our association is to put into practice and spread the philosophy of peaceful living and deep respect towards the planet and all of its inhabitants. The age we live in is marked by unsound and distorted relationships based on oppression, and non-human animals are at the base of the perverse pyramid. Humans wrongly deny in other animals the existence of the primary qualities of every sentient being: the ability to feel fear, joy, emotion, motherly love. Just like us. The encounter and continued contact with these animals allows us to create a new connection and to reawaken the empathic instinct rooted deep within us, suffocated by the physical and mental barriers enforced by the logic of our culture and market economy.
A safe house for 80 animals, who on three and a half hectares of land (a little over 9 acres) have the possibility to live freely and serenely, leaving behind their past of suffering and injustice.
The guests of the sanctuary spend their days in each other’s company, demonstrating brilliantly a lifestyle of peace between different species (including humans, of course).
Every single day spent at Ippoasi holds surprises and precious gifts. It is a gift to breathe the pure air in the quiet of the Park, to catch the scent of fresh hay which is always available; it is a gift to be able to watch Gorgo and Peppa “compete” for in-season vegetables, to admire Terra and Luna as they lounge blissfully in the sun, to see the wild romping of Tombola; it is a gift to listen to the sweet cackle of Pia or the “cockadoodledoo” of Tamburino, as well as the tender mutterings of Alfred at every little scratch on his slightly lopsided back…
But the greatest gift is an exchange of one-of-a-kind emotions and sensations that let us see the possibility of a serene and pacific world with our own eyes, offering to us the demonstration that a free and egalitarian life is a right and a need not only for human beings, but for all animals.
Guided tours for groups An occasion to meet the guests of the sanctuary and to be able to get close to them and pet them in their favorite way (pigs are wild about their belly-button!), while being looked after by expert guides. Responsible donations.
Education projects A new and healthy way to teach a respect for nature and the environment, addressed to schools, game rooms, and summer camps. Our educational tours and creative workshops are made even more captivating thanks to the close contact with the sanctuary guests and the resultant understanding of their needs.
Social projects We welcome with open arms people with disabilities, people with a difficult past, and prisoners, all always looked after by our volunteers. We hope to bring everyone pleasant sensations and emotions and positive motivation through the company of the guests of the sanctuary, and to let them spend time with someone who will never express judgment towards them.
Animal rehabilitation Individuals coming from abusive situations, including those with psycho-physical difficulties, are hosted to be rehabilitated and re-habituated to a healthier and more balanced social life.
Outreach Organization and participation in cultural events all over Italy and beyond; we are present with informative stands set up with pictures, videos, gadgets, books and leaflets, to introduce Ippoasi and our ideal of peace.
Volunteer work Is the best way to relate to the animals and the primary way to support the work of the association is through volunteering. Anyone who would like to enter more closely into this experience and who wants to support it in terms of voluntary work hours is welcome! There is always so much to do, and the tasks and activities require a lot of energy. For every volunteer there is a training, a gradual introduction to the sanctuary guests and to all of the activities carried out by the association. It is a wonderful opportunity to really get to know the animals, to establish relationships, and to be mutually rewarded by contact whenever it is sought out and accepted by both sides.
Concrete support There are many jobs that can be carried out by volunteers: daily upkeep of the sanctuary, cleaning and food distribution, caring for animals with special needs, picking up vegetable and fruit scraps from supermarkets, and helping with organized events such as fundraising dinners, festivals, and presentations.
From all of Italy It is possible to come volunteer even if you live far from Pisa. In fact, our association has the opportunity to host people for brief or more extended periods, in exchange for help with our everyday work.
The hospitality is vegan, of course (food of vegetable origin), according to the guiding principles of the association. It is also possible to participate through WWOOF Italia, of which Ippoasi is a member.
Donations Our association does not receive any government grants, as the guest animals are generally considered to be business commodities, devoid of rights. Ippoasi is sustained by private contributors, who value the project and support it in different ways.It is possible at any time to support our project by donation, following the instructions on our website.
Long-distance adoptions Using a prediction of the monthly cost of living, care, and maintenance, anyone can “adopt” one of the guests of Ippoasi, or through different contributions can divide the cost with other donors. This way, anyone can contribute to the maintenance of the sanctuary guests, guaranteeing them constant support and sustaining the commitment that the association took on from their arrival onward. On the web site and at our stands during events, beside every guest animal’s picture, there is the name of his or her adopter, in recognition!
Gift donations and adoptions A donation to Ippoasi can be also a wonderful present on the occasion of a wedding, birthday or other celebration! The guest of honor will receive a personalized certificate in thanks, made promptly by the members of our association.