Written by Pamela - I met first Maria online through Minciu Sodas and subsequently face-to-face, in Lithuania in 2008, at an event organised by Andrius Kulikauskas, where I was struck by her openess and her vibrant personality.
I was looking forward to meeting her in person because we had many ovelapping interests and concerns. We both came from the same part of the world (she was living in Italy and I was living in the UK) and we were both closely connected with projects in Africa through personal friendships. Also, at that time, we were both looking at the ideas in Muhammed Yunus' book "Creating a World Without Poverty" and wondering how those ideas might apply to the people and projects that we knew.
Subsequently we often connected online, bumping into each other on skype for impromptu conversations, sharing ideas, and increasingly exploring how we could work more closely together.
In 2010 Maria e-met other Dadamac people when she joined us at our October "First Thursday" online open-meeting.
On February 23rd 2011 Minciu Sodas online groups carried the sad and unexpected news of Maria's sudden death at her home in Italy. As people shared the news, and responded to it, there was a feeling that, somehow, we should do something to remember her and see how her work could be continued. Dadamac UK therefore started the Maria Agnese Giraudo Memorial initiative - a space at Dadamac.net where people could contribute information about Maria's life and work, and explore possible collaborative ways to carry it forward.
Update June 16th 2012
The Dadamac space proved unnecessary as good connections between those who mourned Maria were maintained in other ways.
On June 16th 2012 this email and video was shared:
We are writing the present mail to friends of Agnese (Maria) from outside Italy. On the 25th of April many friends living in Italy met in Santa Marinella for a commemoration day during which her ashes were spread in the sea.
First we met in the church together with Don Matteo and could express thoughts and prayers. Then Kenneth and Giuseppe (Agnese’s brother) went on a fisherman boat in the sea to spread her ashes while the other friends were on the seaside singing a song written by her colleagues from INRAN. We then had a farewell to Agnese through shouting. The four NAFSI acrobats who were with us (Samuel, Patrick, Kenneth and Steve) could then illustrate to us their project with children in Nairobi and then perform on a little square of Santa Marinella.
It took quite some time to put together the video and photos taken by different people and we had technical problems. That's why more than a month has already passed. However we hope that by watching this video you will at least in part manage to feel what we could feel during this great day in which we could give her last respect and especially express our love and our gratitude for all the gifts we received from her.
To watch the video:
Please send this mail to anyone who is not in the mailing list but would like to receive it.
Catherine, Giovina and Roberto