Training & social commitment

Educational and social activities

The training school

With a desire to pass on the knowledge and skills acquired over a century of hands-on experience, the Mati brothers created the Italian Garden Academy, in 2012, to conduct training and refresher courses for enthusiastic beginners, students, and professional gardeners in ornamental and environmental green.

 

Since September 2014, it has been an educational agency, part of the Province of Pistoia’s Adult Education (EDA) project. The basic gardening courses provide the ABCs for the care and maintenance of plants as well as other offers for an in-depth and diversified selection of educational opportunities.

 

There is also a wide range of green activities, from workshops to play trails and educational courses aimed at young children and families. Conventions and seminars are organized monthly to foster a proper green culture in addition to themed meetings to talk about plants and sustainability.

 

Social commitment

…Many of my beloved children, who arrived in our community without any idea of self-respect, have rediscovered how to love themselves and others through a love for flowers and plants. Through care, patience, love, and attention to the plants, they have learned to care, love, respect, and hope. Today Molino Silla is a delightfully beautiful, and lush garden, with its colors and flowers – like the hearts of all the kids who have seen and experienced it, even for just one minute. Today Zervò, Pompei, Raganella, and many other centers in Italy are wonderful gardens even before being homes, welcoming thousands of spiritually worn-out children whose stained souls, thanks to the color and purity of these flowers and the strength of these plants, come back to life and their lives again flourish. All this was possible through the warmth, commitment, dedication, and passion of you and your family. You didn't just bring flowers or plants to be tended, you brought a seed of hope into the hearts of all these children…”

Father Pierino Gelmini - Comunità Incontro

The Mati family has always been committed to helping the weakest, and has always focused their personal commitment and resources on the support and rehabilitation of troubled and marginalized people.

 

We usually say that someone in trouble is like a sick plant that, with the proper care, time, and patience, will recover to grow and flourish again.

In this light, specific initiatives and social activities have been created through the work of Giardineria Italiana and the Cooperativa Sociale Puccini Conversini, founded in 2008, in partnership with the Istituti Raggruppati, a social services agency, and the Cooperativa Sant’ Agostino in Florence. Through the San Pantaleo Nursery, we strive to offer training by working in a nursery to young people and adults in protected or disadvantaged categories.

 

The Mati family’s sense of solidarity has inspired multi-year partnerships with nationally and internationally recognized rehabilitation communities, e.g., San Patrignano and Comunità Incontro. Andrea Mati has met Nobel laureate and microcredit pioneer Muhammad Yunus several times and he actively supports the Social Business Lab in Pistoia.