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The project, nominated by the Rotaract Clubs of Barletta and Trani (in partnership with the Rotaract and Interact Districts 2120), is linked to the national informative service “Divergo” promoted by Rotaract District 2071. “Divergo” is dedicated to raising awareness on the topic of neurodiversity and promoting inclusion. The service “PiantIAMO”, in accordance with the guidelines and the core topic of the national service “Divergo, aims to establish close connections with people with autism and help them integrate into society. In order to achieve this goal, the clubs have partnered with the Barletta-based association “Work-Aut”, which focuses on getting autistic adults into the workforce. This immediately highlighted how perfectly the values of Rotaract and the association mentioned here blended.

The realization of this project spanned several months, attributable to the meticulous efforts invested in identifying the solution that best aligned with the collective vision of all collaborating entities involved. The moment an association was identified that was deemed perfect for our goals, a video call was held among all the entities involved. Within this meeting the different goals and steps that would affect the service were discussed.

First step of the project: it was to make and pack Aloe plants (symbol of the partner association) through joint work between Rotaract, Interact, and AUT adults from the “Work-Aut” association. The meeting to produce these plants took place on March 17, 2024, at the headquarters of the partner association. After an initial acquaintance between the various protagonists of the project, the AUT adults themselves with passion and accuracy explained to Rotaract and Interact participants the basic steps to be carried out: assembling the cardboards, inserting the laces, and inserting the plant inside the cardboard.

Second step of the project: Once the plants were packaged, Rotaract District 2120, Interact District 2120, and Trani and Barletta clubs purchased 50 plants for resale at two district events: Rotaract District Assembly IV and Interact RYPEN. Districts and clubs purchased the plants through funds gathered during a district evening held in September 2023, attended by the Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact 2120 districts.

Third step of the project: finally, the resale of Aloe plants will raise additional funds, through which the District Rotaract 2120, the District Interact 2120, and the clubs of Trani and Barletta undertake to buy a computer and a printer to donate to the association “Work-Aut”. Computers and printer are essential for the association, as they allow them to write the job descriptions (work procedures) on the computer and to update and customize them according to the skills of each autistic apprentice. They are also necessary to print out the work plan and deliver it to the worker, who will take it home to study and repeat it.

In conclusion, in our project we can speak of both social and ecological sustainability. Social because through this wonderful project we have committed ourselves to building an inclusive environment where Rotaract youth and autistic adults could work together, learn from each other, and create meaningful bonds based on friendship and collaboration. And also ecological through the sale of Aloe seedlings, which is not just a product, but a tangible symbol of our mission: to promote inclusion, autonomy and sustainability.

Partner Association: WORK-AUT (Barletta, Italy) Their History: The Cooperative Social Work Aut Work and Autism (official registration in the Register of Companies of C. C. I.A.A. Bari), with its project “Work Aut”, was born in 2021 in the wake of the work and commitment of the Committee Family Together – Parents in support of neurodiversity, engaged on the territory of BAT from 2019 in the identification and implementation of inclusive paths aimed at children, young people and adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and/ or Neurodiversity. The projects carried out in these years, inspired by the scientifically validated approach and tools of the cognitive-behavioral methodologies ABA (Applied Analysis of Behavior), have concerned the educational areas, sport, recreation, or work to increase self-esteem and improve the quality of life of people with Autism and at the same time alleviating the emotional/ economic/ social load of families, a burden made even more burdensome because of the Covid pandemic 19.

Their Aim: They propose and carry out training and apprenticeship projects aimed at entering the world of work with the highly qualified supervision of management managers who also use Aba Experts, so that the socio-integration is advantageous both for companies/employers, who can obtain certain advantages and for the special worker who, through a fair wage, finds dignity and better life prospects. The Cooperative also certifies that all working members have the necessary and mandatory requirements for the performance of services (including occasional and non-continuous), in compliance with the provisions of law (Ex ART. 37 C/O).