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Festival of solidarity at Mataró

 

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Open Hands - 17th campaign

03/02/2005: Spain

The campaign Mà Oberta (Open Hands in Catalan), which started at Mataró seventeen years ago for the recycling of paper, cardboard, bottles and clothing, has become throughout the years a tradition and a festival. It is a tradition due to the popular response to this campaign, as much from the citizens as from the volunteers. The citizens are already well aware of it while it is carried out by the volunteers of a wide range of ages: students, teachers, parents, animators, etc; of a wide range of groups: youth clubs, scouts, parish groups, etc; and of various areas: from Mataró, Lleida, Barcelona, Rubí, Igualada, Sabadell, etc.

The changes brought to the campaign during these last years have given an air of festival to this day of activities aimed at helping those in need. With the other activities that occur simultaneously at Mataró until the 3rd January, the collection of bottles has become a distinctive sign of the town that opens the eyes of its citizens to solidarity and the true meaning of Christmas.
Street theatre and music, the collection of food at the entrances to shopping centres, bottle collections, the large mural for solidarity and the collaboration of 250 volunteers in their orange clothes make the centre of Mataró come alive. These activities illustrate in a most obvious and true way that there are people, young and old, who continue to believe that it is possible to struggle for a world that is more just and more harmonious.

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