Dear Friends,

The possibility, by taking action, to join you on social media, is always a strong emotion. From today it will be even stronger, thanks to this electronic tool that I am proud to use today for the first time: a newsletter that will give the possibility to ABF staff and me to visit you regularly.

It will be an invaluable opportunity to feel closer, a preferential way to communicate in detail the projects that our Foundation is carrying on, wishing to transform our mission into concrete actions (in education, food, smiles, hope, future).

It will be a further step to share the primary and essential value of transparency, and a way to reaffirm a concept that is dear to us that characterizes this extraordinary solidarity: that is to say the peculiarity of ABF of being a living laboratory where every contribution is essential and receives our attention and our deep gratitude.

Anniversaries make sense as long as they have meaning, I am happy to celebrate this moment of encounter on the first day of spring. It is a date particularly dear to me, because right on that day I got married to Veronica, and our little Virginia was born.

It is a day that gives voice to the power of life and to its desire to blossom. And in ‘giving voice,’ in fact, in a metaphorical sense and not, you could sum up the momentum that motivates this first letter and the denominator of the projects that ABF is, enthusiastically, carrying on, thanks to your support.

The main news is that I am pleased to announce the birth of the choir “Voices of Haiti”. It is an ambitious project that I care very much for: in full consistence with the mission of ABF (which, not by chance, is recognized in the slogan ‘Empowering people and communities’) in Haiti has been founded a choir of sixty elements, selected among over twelve thousand students attending the schools active on the island thanks to the ABF – St. Luc Foundation System.

The positive strength of these young lives is potentially explosive. Grown up in a context of strong poverty, thirsty for beauty, eager to learn, they are children who express through their eyes and their voices the intensity, the joy, the wonder of Life. Through the practice of the choir, studying and making music together, they have become aware of discipline, of passion, love for what they do, and of the sense of responsibility.

Therefore all that they can convey through their singing on stage is pure joy. Meanwhile, continues the collaboration between ABF and MIT, seemingly, quietly, but it is conversely generating constant and important results through the project called “Fifth Sense”, part of the program ‘Challenges’ aimed at creating a wearable system of intelligent perception with high resolution, tactile display, to increase independence in visually impaired people.

The activities of the Foundation continue, including the new projects in the starting blocks, of which we will inform you in the coming months, and the exciting ongoing ones. Thanks to all of you for your help and generosity, we will try – with passion, with love, as usual, to increase in 2016 the results achieved in 2015: a crucial year for ABF, from its presence at the World Economic Forum in Davos, to the opening of three schools in Haiti (which are granting access to education to more than 1.750 children), from the debut of the ‘3.COM’project on the Caribbean island with intervention projects in the communities of Kenscoff, Crois des Bouquets and Abricot (as far as water, power and agricultural-economic development are concerned) to the memorable meeting with Pope Francesco in Philadelphia, on the occasion of the ‘World Family Day’, up to the workshop organized by our Foundation at the EXPO in Milan.

I do not want to take advantage of your time, but another happy coincidence, – Easter is approaching – gives me the joy, to wish you all, to spend joyfully and in serenity the upcoming festivities that par excellence give voice to the regeneration of the spirit and that represent the most important religious festival of Christendom. While saying goodbye to you I would like to share with you the words of Beato Paolo VI, who, almost forty years ago, said: ‘Happy Easter’! Try to understand, sons and daughters, how important is this wish, if it is referred to the scale of values that becomes the scale of duties, according to which we must build our existence. Yes, this can be the optimistic transformation of our way to conceive life. So we are presenting this Easter metamorphosis not only as a conventional sentimental wish, but as a guidance program of life itself. Young people of today, we believe, are particularly prone to understand and welcome this wish, full of hope, full of energy, and we are turning to these young people with inspiring intentions: life is beautiful if it is new, it is new if it is good, if it is wise, if it is strong, in one word, if it is Christian’.

Andrea Bocelli