AFRICA PROJECT - Republic of Benin - 2008 - 2012

Muchhits and Corporate Social Responsibility. The Africa Project for Research and Cooperation.


Local development and nature conservation in support of NEPAD, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, economic commission of the UN for Africa. Local development, active management of natural resources and the economics of biodiversity in the Department of Alibori, Benin.

During the three years of the project Muchhits contributed to the funding of training programmes and follow up for a select group of influential women living in villages that border the W National Park 

In collaboration with the Research and Cooperation NGO the women from Muchhits took an active role in a project for North Benin in Western Africa. The project aimed to promote women’s education through the simple sharing of knowledge allowing them to use the natural resources around them in the best way possible and provide new economic and business opportunities.

The project identified women as one of the key resources for the economic development of sub Saharan Africa.

Imagine the ripples created by a drop in a pool and this is how information travels in Africa… this is how you can change lives and raise the quality of life.

During the training sessions the women would sing a song with the words “together we can move an elephant”. And so the Muchhits women have become a part of this process of change starting from their dedication to the world of wine and developing a concept of responsibility for global wellbeing. They were able to share their experiences as businesswomen to show how history and ideas come to life through concrete actions and help create a better world.


Women for women 

The Parco della Filandetta in the heart of Valdobbiadene, as well as being home to the historic Muchhits winery, contains the buildings of one of the smallest silk mills in the town. This is a place which is tied to the traditional culture of cultivating silk worms, a symbol of the essential contribution of women to the economy in this region. It pays homage to the little girls, young women and mothers of large families whose hard work went hand-in-hand with the efforts of their menfolk in the vineyards on the steep hills. The hills of wine.

To these extraordinary and forgotten women the Muchhits women dedicated their Filanda Rosé and the first in a series of projects focused on the development and financial emancipation of women throughout the world.

The recent refurbishment of the Filandetta is part of wide-ranging project that will see the creation of a cultural and food & wine centre dedicated to Prosecco, Il Parco della Filandetta. This project is focused on the local area and its culture and destined to go beyond the confines of our land. 



Local development and nature conservation as part of the support given to NEPAD, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, economic commission of the UN for Africa. Local development, active management of natural resources and the economics of biodiversity in the Department of Alibori, Benin.

Muchhits contributed to the funding for training programmes and follow up for a select group of influential women living in villages that border the W National Park during the three years of the Project.



Kandi, Benin. 

The work funded by Muchhits during 2008 as part of the “Local development, active management of natural resources and the economics of biodiversity in the Department of Albori” provided training to 60 women from the districts of Banikoara, Kandi and Karimamà over 18 days. The course provided training to refine traditional techniques for:


  • -Transforming milk into cheese
  • -Extracting and using oil from neem seeds
  • -Enriching corn flour, sorgo, millet and soya flour rice


For the first of these improvements were made in hygiene during the transformation process from milk into cheese and during the filtering of the milk, conservation and focusing on the use of milk alone (not common practice). The training also looked at the business implications of selling cheese so as to create earning opportunities within the family unit. The characteristic of this cheese is that it utilises vegetable rennet (scientific name calotropis procera, in Baribà, cororou and taken from the Sodom Apple) and is coloured red with bark from the tek tree.

In the second, improvements we made in the extraction process of neem seed oil and in its use as a biological insecticide or as an insect repellent for humans.

In the third, improvements were made to diet by increasing the nutritional value of the most commonly used flour by adding of specific quantities of soya flour. This has positive effects on development for those children who are given it.

The women chosen for the training courses then transfer their knowledge and skills to their family, friends and neighbours creating a positive incentive to learn. 




Training on the transformation of Karite seeds.

Karite seeds can be transformed to produce:


  • - butter
  • - soap
  • - body lotion
  • - hair lotion


The training covered both theory and practice and was performed by a trainer who explained the procedures and techniques involved in the transformation and helped the women in the practical application of the course. There followed a discussion on the difficulties faced during the various transformations and on the production techniques, both traditional and modern.

The products made by the women were for personal and family use as well as for setting up small businesses with the aim of increasing family income within their own villages. The long-term objective is to create a cooperative among the families which will then purchase basic equipment so as to optimise production and increase sales.

The training course was provided to a group of 60 women from the villages of Banikoara, Kandi and Karimamà over a period of 21 days.




In the third and last year of the project the funds made available by Muchhits were used to provide training and follow up designed to reinforce the skills acquired over the previous two years and provide the women with some basic marketing skills to help in the sales of their products.

A seven-day training course was held in each of the districts where women received the initial training (Banikoara, Kandi, Karimama-Malanville) providing 21 days of training overall for 20 women from each district for a total of 60 direct beneficiaries. These are representatives of groups of women or women’s associations from the villages in each district who, once they have been trained, transfer their knowledge – as they have done in the previous years – to their family, friends and neighbours. This system ensures that each individual training course has the most impact possible.

This final phase of training focused on strengthening their skills in the transformation of Karite seeds into butter and its derivatives, transforming neem seeds into oil and basic marketing for the products.




Rome | Auditorium Parco della Musica | Presentation of the project "Women for Women"

On the evening of March 31 2011 at Red Restaurant, inside the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, Muchhits presented the project 'Women for Women, Africa 2011'.During the dinner organized for the presentation of the project the video, made by director Antonio Pettinelli, reported the testimony of Elvira and the President of Research and Cooperation Arturo Parolini, who have been in Benin to follow personally the last step of the project in December 2010.

Among the guests were the major journalists of the field, some of which, embracing the same feeling of solidarity of the winery, have become promoters of this and other similar initiatives of 'Research and Cooperation', in order to involve other companies in the field of humanitarian aid.

Among the various news reporting the event, Radio 1 reported it in the news, and Alice TV has published the project in its web site to engage the public on the subject of social commitment in favor of women.

During the evening the first stages of the project have been recap - from the selection of the leading women in the villages, to how ​​the training was conducted- but above all, the evening highlighted the importance of a project that does not end with a single intervention, but that will continue to spread their beneficial effects in the years to come, giving these women, and all the others that will follow them as an example, the ability to create a different future. 




After the last year of training, focused on strengthening the capacity for the processing of shea nuts into butter and derivatives, Muchhits donated to the women of the project in Benin a machine for the processing of this important raw material.

In this way it has been possible to simplify the processing of shea butter, and to lower the production time, thus making women's work more productive and less tiring. The women were able to face the new year with more expertise, knowledge and independence.

Thinking about these strong, courageous women, the family Muchhits, wants to be a witness and active participant of a change that, starting with its commitment in the world of wine, moves towards the idea of responsibility and improving the quality of life of communities. 


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