Da MaTeMù a MaTeChef: percorsi d’arte, di vita e di lavoro. From MaTeMù to MaTeChef to Altrove: art, life and work paths.

Da MaTeMù a MaTeChef: percorsi d’arte, di vita e di lavoro. From MaTeMù to MaTeChef to Altrove: art, life and work paths.
CIES ONLUS, via Merulana 198, 00185, Rome Referente: Sara Valerio
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This is the story of how from a youth centre MaTeMù we were able to started intercultural cooking courses for disadvantages young adults (Italian and foreigners) and to open an “intercultural” Restaurant in Rome.


MaTemù is a youth centre in Rome, opened by CIES Onlus since 2010. Every day more than 60 teenagers or young adults from 11 to 25 years old attend art courses (singing, dance, acting, theatre workshops, rap, drum, saxophone, guitar, Italian course for foreigners, training and work desk) or just come to spend time in a nice and welcoming place.

During the years more and more youngsters asked us for job orienteering services and training courses. In 2015, thanks to a private foundation, we were able to start MaTeChef a series of cooking and hospitality courses. From 2016 to 2018 we managed to organize 4 courses for 60 young adults Italian and foreigners.

In 2017 we fixed the last piece of the puzzle and we opened a very nice “intercultural” restaurant: "Altrove. Porte aperte sul Mondo", in the Ostiense district of Rome. A place where cooking has different tastes and traditions, the staff is multicultural, and the mixture of cultures and traditions from all over the world creates a new culinary (and not only) reality.

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Type of narrative: 
Video narration (Video interview, documentary, digital storytelling)
Why is this story important to you: 

Crediamo che sia importante raccontare e rendere visibili le nostre storie, quelle che viviamo ogni giorno a MaTeMù, quelle che abbiamo visto nei corsi di MaTeChef, che parlano di culture e mondi diversi che si incontrano e dialogano attraverso uno scambio reciproco e convivono pacificamente.

In un momento storico e politico in cui tutto questo non sembra possibile e la tendenza è quella di chiudersi e innalzare barriere noi vogliamo raccontare di quello che succede quando i muri si abbattono e le porte si aprono.


Oltre alla mie parole aggiungo quelle di Koudia, giovane studentessa della I edizione del corso Matechef. E a seguire un altro video con la sua storia.


“Sono Koudia, ho 24 anni e vengo dal Senegal.
Da piccola sognavo di diventare pediatra, ma i miei sogni sono cambiati un po'perché ho scoperto l’ambito della cucina.
Da noi cucinavo perché le donne devono cucinare e basta ma quando sono arrivata in Italia ho avuto la fortuna di partecipare ad una formazione interculturale: Matechef. Ho passato i miglior momenti della mia vita con loro. Quando lavoravo con loro riuscivo a dimenticare tutti i miei problemi. Sembra che sono in paradiso, perché per una volta nella mia vita sono riuscita a fare una cosa che ho deciso io, no che gli altri hanno deciso per me.
Grazie all’Italia che mi ha restituito i diritti che mi avevano tolto nel mio Paese: il diritto di sognare un futuro migliore e il diritto di vivere in pace. Allora: è stato bellissimo!”


We believe that it is important to tell and give visibility to our stories, that we meet and listen every day at MaTeMù youth centre, ot at MaTeChef cooking courses, or at Altrove restaurant.

Stories that tell about different cultures and worlds that meet together and speak to each other creating mutual exchange and a peaceful coexistence. In this historical and political where all this does not seem possible and the tendency is to close off and raise barriers, we want to tell what happens when the walls come down and we open the doors.


Beyond my words, I want to tell Koudia story, a young student of the first edition of Matechef intercultural cooking course.

"I'm Koudia, I'm 24 and I'm from Senegal. As a child I dreamed of becoming a pediatrician, but my dreams have changed because I discovered the world of cooking. In Senegal we are used to cook because women must cook for the family, but when I arrived in Italy I was lucky enough to participate in an intercultural cooking training from CIES Onlus: Matechef. I spent the best moments of my life there. When I worked with all the others, I could forget all my problems. It seems like I'm in heaven, because for once in my life I managed to do something that I decided, not that others have decided for me. Thanks to Italy that gave me back the rights that have been stolen from me in my country: the right to dream of a better future and the right to live in peace. In the end: it was so beautiful! "

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Yes, integrally
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on CIES web channels