Yesterday, on the opening day of the AGSM AIM forum area A horse of sustainability in Hall 4, a talk by Reverse was held with a focus on the social reintegration project within the Montorio Prison. On this occasion there was also the symbolic handing over of horse-riding technician diplomas to inmates, not present at the fair, between the director of the Montorio prison Mariagrazia Bregoli and Linda Fabrello of Horse Valley.
After introducing this year’s format and the area where the meetings on social and environmental sustainability in the equestrian world will take place, Federica Collato gave the floor to the guests.
Mariagrazia Bregoli was present at the table to explain the importance of concrete action to reintegrate prisoners into society.
“Prison for many represents an isolated, closed place, but this is not the case. We ordinary citizens consider those who have committed a crime to be different, based on the criminal record, but the values of our society are social inclusion and respect for diversity, and the tasks of the prison are to facilitate reintegration and remove obstacles that hinder inclusion,’ Bregoli comments. “Being present and collaborating with Fieracavalli is extraordinary, because such an important international fair accepts and welcomes prisoners with respect and without prejudice. With this project, prison is no longer a place to stay while waiting for the end of one’s sentence, but a place to change one’s life and learn something new”.
Also at the table was Linda Fabrello of Horse Valley, which has been operating at Corte Molon for 10 years now, a magnificent place made available by the Municipality of Verona that has become a social riding school in the broadest sense of the term. The focus of the active projects is animal-assisted therapy for the disabled, adolescents in difficulty and for the reintegration into society of prisoners, always emphasising the wellbeing and sociability that horses can provide.
The presence of Horse Valley inside the prison is not only through the inclusion of 3 boxes, inaugurated in 2019 thanks also to Fieracavalli, but also through the presence of courses involving contact between inmates and horses. The boys voluntarily choose to participate and take care of the horses, also having the opportunity to acquire skills that will help them enter the world of work .
“This year’s course becomes even more official because it allows the boys to be included in a national register of AICS (Italian Association for Culture and Sport), an organisation that affiliates us. The organisation allows anyone who has a riding school to go and see who they can call as a worker, giving a great chance to the inmates. The course we have been doing for several years has allowed at least 3-4 people to find work, some as farriers, others as stable help, a very important opportunity for young people,’ Linda Fabrello says.
9 inmates completed the course, receiving their diploma as stable technicians. An extremely high number, which gives hope and makes clear the importance of this project.