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The Little Plastic Bag


08/12/2008 - The Little Plastic Bag of Giorgio Abate

In 2002, I went to Maputu in Mozambique to guide a music group which, following donations made to a well-known Association, had to inaugurate a little hospital unit useful to some villages in the area.  During the visit I had an experience which I think I will never forget and which has made me think a lot. A little boy 6 or 7 years old was persistently watching and pointing at the plastic bag (of the supermarket type) that I had in hand, containing some brochures. Out of curiosity I asked the local guide who was with us to ask the boy what he wanted.  After speaking with the little boy, the guide explained to me that the child wanted me to give him the bag because, as he said, in his village whoever had one was considered rich.

Still more curious about this statement, I requested that he ask him why, according to him, anyone who owned a plastic bag would be rich and above all, what he would have done with it.  After talking with him, the guide explained to me that in his village, children his age are supposed to provide water, going back and forth all day between the village and the well located 4 kilometers away; and for him, to have a bag like that one meant that he wouldn’t have to carry the heavy clay jar on his head both empty on the way over and full on the way back.  And besides, it meant being able to carry a bigger amount of water on each trip, given the capacity of the little bag, not to mention that on the way over he would be able to go to the well “running” together with those his own age, lucky owners of a plastic bag...

For this little boy in Mozambique, the only playing was to be able to run to the well, in a kind of race with his companions, from one trip to the next, which certainly would have been denied him if he had to carry the heavy clay jar even on the way over...

The Unexpected Guest


13/12/2008 - The Unexpected Guest of Giorgio Abate

Just yesterday I heard the ad on the radio for a film running in movie theaters these days.

Its title struck me: “The Unexpected Guest.” It made me think of Lady “Death,” who arrived as such in our lives without warning in November of last year (2007), upsetting us and giving our family that sense of constant disbelief which leaves all of us completely astounded.  I wonder why this happens.  Maybe we don’t believe that the Lady exists?  And yet we watch TV, read newspapers, see films, the media in general, and they don’t speak of anything else, they harass us with upsetting news morning and night; and I wonder:  what goes through our mind when it is others who suffer the Lady’s visit?  What do we say to ourselves to get rid of fear?  How aware are we that it can also happen to us?  How aware are we of the fact that at the moment of birth, no guarantee is given us of the length of our stay on this earth?

It may be a bit upsetting to think this way.  Here in Italy if I should begin talking about this topic with friends or acquaintances, I wouldn’t have time to start before there would be a general crossing of fingers for luck (or among men it Italy, a crotch grab for long life), and I would be immediately urged to change the subject….It is taboo to speak of Death, and it is just for this reason that the Lady surprises us every time; we don’t realize that she frightens us only because we don’t know her, we have no intimacy with her--because she is mysterious.

In India they say that birth is an illusion and, on the contrary, Death is the only truth.  This is a form of awareness very present in the Oriental world.  From infancy every human being is put in contact with the Lady, making them conscious of the fact that she exists and that so long as we have that in mind, she will not frighten us, will not surprise us, because we will learn to know her day after day.  We will wake up with her, eat with her, work with her, and we will fall asleep with her—with her becoming a kind of good friend, who is by our side at all times during our day.  In fact, Death “lives” our day, our time, our life, lives with us and in us; but we keep ignoring her…

But we forget that it is we who shut the door in her face every time that she visits our thoughts.  Instead, we should welcome her, embrace her, and seriously make her our friend, look at her and think of her often, as one does with a friend, especially in the most beautiful and meaningful times of our life, so that, conscious of her existence we learn to live differently, less arrogantly, and with a different awareness that would make us live more in the present, surely appreciating and giving a different value to all of our actions and to life itself.

The Importance of Play


08/12/2008 - The Importance of Play of Giorgio Abate

In thinking again about my son, something that happens rather often, I reflect on how much play was decisive in his life and education.

Thinking of these things leads me to consider how fortunate the little orphans are who are living in the cities that Maria Pia and I are visiting.  They have nothing, not even mattresses to sleep on, but they feel fortunate to have a roof and a hot meal every day.  They spend whole hours staring at the gray ceiling of the dormitory, and they remember when they were out in the rain…and they are happy.

If we think only of the children in Darfur, in Uganda, in Sierra Leone, or in Iraq, who are trained in arms from nine or ten years old and often disappear into the void, without leaving a trace, without a cry, and above all without the world’s doing something or even taking notice….Not to speak of the world of prostitution, where six- or seven-year-old innocent “angels” are made into prostitutes by unscrupulous demons with the insidious complacency of clients about whom it is preferable to keep from voicing any kind of commentary.  All these children are denied any form of life; they are deceived from the moment they come into the world—a horrible world full of suffering is presented to them, almost always without any manner of escape other than death.

I am taking for granted that someone is taking care of him, because that’s the way it was with my son, as I think it also was for all the children we can imagine.  In fact, it isn’t that way, and unfortunately it isn’t in most cases….Statistics speak clearly:  only 17% of children in the world live an infancy worthy of being considered as such.  In most cases, children grow up in the most total indigence, not only being denied the right to play, which most times is seen as the least of problems, but having to run up from the most tender age against problems which in our world would intimidate more than a few thirty-year-olds, still children of their family.

I have always believed that in every child it must be natural to develop his own will to play, as if this were part of the human being, like appetite, thirst, the instinct to walk or to run… .But I didn’t realize how important were the stimuli that we adults are induced to give them, even without being aware of it.  When a child comes into the world within a family, everything is transformed, everything takes on a different light.  We are induced to prepare a room for the newborn, giving it a pleasing appearance.

We fill it with playthings, we paint the walls a happy color, so that from the first day of life he gets the message, “We love you, and we’re happy that you’ve come!”  No matter how improbable it may seem, the child receives this message right away and begins his psychological and physical development.  A serene child eats, sleeps, smiles, and cries only if he wishes to communicate or to attract the attention of the mommy or of whoever is taking care of him at that moment…

When they then find out that they can in fact “play” and also live some moments of infantile light-heartedness…then that’s magic.










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SmilingAngel - Dona 5 x 1000






Dona il 5 x 1000 dell’IRPEF a:

Smiling Angel Associazione Onlus Simone Pietro Abate

SMILING ANGEL - C.F. 10212121007


IBAN  IT80T0100503386000000005101


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COME FARE: Il 5 x 1000 è un piccola parte delle tue tasse. Puoi destinarla ad una ONLUS come Smiling Angel. Anche quest’anno puoi scegliere a chi donarla. Il 5 x 1000 non sostituisce una normale donazione: è un piccolo gesto in più, che non costa nulla, ma è di grande valore per chi la riceveCome sai, Smiling Angel non ha contributi dai governi, ma si basa unicamente sull’aiuto dei suoi sostenitori, persone come te che credono nel valore dei diritti umani. Scegli di essere al nostro fianco anche con il 5 x 1000. La tua dichiarazione dei redditi può dare grande forza al nostro impegno!

Destinare il 5 x 1000 a Smiling Angel è semplicissimo:

  1. Compila la scheda CUD, il modello 730 o il modello Unico.
  2. Trovi un riquadro dedicato al 5 x 1000. Dovrai solo apporre la tua firma e il numero di Codice Fiscale di Smilingangel: 10212121007

L'associazione riferirà dell'impiego dei fondi devoluti con il 5 per mille attraverso il sito Internet. Legge finanziaria (Legge 23 dicembre 2005 n. 266, articolo 1, comma 337)


Sede legale: Via Cassia, 1866 - 00123 Roma (RM)

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SmilingAngel Italian NGO Association

Bambini di Agra

Smiling Angel, is an Italian NGO Association. It has been constituted in November of 2008 , by Giorgio and Maria Pia Abate, after the loss of their only beloved 18 years old son Simone, in order to give a smile to the the abandoned and needy children and adolescents, realizing small playgrounds and playing areas, inside pre-existing structures around the world.

Smiling Angel, also deals with the renovation of the structures that give hospitality to children, through works of building and painting restoring, realization or improvement of the hygienic-sanitary services and development of educational plans and study actions, to improve the psychological growth of children, as well as to promote, with every useful way, the health, the education and the professional formation of the infancy and adolescence.

We cannot change the world, but we are certain that, as Mother Teresa was accustomed to say , the ocean is made of drops and without these drops the ocean would be smaller.

Segui la nostra attività

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In tutti questi anni, la nostra Associazione ha continuato la sua attività con lo stesso spirito, la stessa volontà e gli stessi principi di sempre, per offrire un istruzione scolastica adeguata, cure mediche, cibo e sostegno ai bambini che risiedono in India. Abbiamo lavorato ed abbiamo ottenuto sorprendenti risultati, sempre disposti ad affrontare nuove sfide. Oggi, più che mai, il sostegno dei nostri donatori è diventato fondamentale per portare cambiamenti concreti dove i bisogni sono maggiori, per intervenire e rendere l'assistenza accessibile a tutti.

Se sei interessato alla nostra attività e ti interessa vedere il nostro lavoro, leggi questo breve diario, con le principali foto delle attività svolte e alcune delle fasi dei nostri successi. Una breve ed interessante selezione della nostra attività, tutta da seguire. SmilingAngel è anche su FaceBook

Giorgio e Maria Pia Abate

Una casa per Florian e Dorian

There are no translations available.



We have changed the lives of many children


Sede legale: Via Cassia, 1866 - 00123 Roma (RM)

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Our activities

Smiling Angel (NGO Association Simone P. Abate)




Registered office: Via Cassia, 1866 - 00123 Roma (RM)

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For Information

For information, you can call the following numbers: 333 2158864 - 339 1024548 - 06 30892708 or write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Calendario e Brochure dell'Associazione

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A fronte della grande richiesta, per tutti gli Amici e i Sostenitori di SmilingAngel è previsto il Poster, il Calendario parete 2016 e il Calendario scrivania 2016, facile da stampare e bello da conservare. Mese dopo Mese, Anno dopo Anno, una raccolta di foto dell'Associazione Onlus SmilingAngel. Brochure 2013/2014.


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