The past one has been a crucial year for our Foundation. Our increased ABF team and with its skills and professionality is a tangible expression of an important growth path decisive for our future commitments.
Keeping intact our spirit, our mission and our peculiar profile (of living laboratory of strengths and ideas) that have motivated its birth, the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, born by the will of the founder and of his family, has turned, in a few years, into an organization able to cope with increasingly complex and demanding projects.
This journey, that has marked the Institution’s affirmation of identity, made of key moments such as the participation of our Chairman, Stefano Aversa, in the international meetings of Davos and the participation of our Vice President Veronica Berti Bocelli in the States General of UN Women at United Nations headquarters in New York, in addition to the frequent relations with the Italian Institutions (Presidency of the Republic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Municipality of Rome), during the preparation of CelebrityFight Night in Rome.
Our operational teams have further strengthened, thanks to the constant enthusiasm and will of our volunteers, more and more involved and motivated, and also because of the institution of a new profile, the one of the Ambassadors, people who, being already ABF volunteers, are committed to spreading and making the Foundation grow in their country of origin.
Two new ambassadors have been appointed, two Italian known for their skills and their commitment to culture and social life around the world: Adolfo Vannucci e Maria Manetti Shrem.
Thanks to the commitment of all of you, we are leaving behind us a year full of results, the result of a work done, day after day, along twelve months. With our mind and heart we are already in 2018, ready to face a new year full of new projects to be implemented and things to learn, as we will celebrate a further increase in challenges, and commitments made with important partners.
Considering what the Foundation has built in the world: above all to express to each of you the measure of our gratitude, for the precious help and benevolence you have shown following and supporting us. In Haiti, together with the local partner Fondation Saint Luc, we have opened the school of Saint Raphael, a welcoming oasis and a place where to build future in the middle of the forest, to provide education and care to 450 children. After the damages caused by the earthquake that hit the country, we have supported the communities of Abricot and consolidated the school of Saint Augustin (a structure that, despite the damage suffered, in the most dramatic moments had the valuable function of being a shelter for thousands of displaced persons). Meanwhile, the ABF-Saint Luc system has continued to provide education, food and care for the 2550 students in the five schools we take care of.
Thanks to the Mobile Clinic project we have we have brought medical assistance to over 8,000 people in the more isolated communities of Haiti; thanks to the Water Truck project we have distributed potable water with two tanker trucks, daily, in the Citè Soleil slum, while the health project related to HIV prevention and treatment at the St. Damien Children’s Hospital has provided an effective support to 800 families. The “Voices of Haiti” choir has consolidated, continuing its exponential growth path. The children coming from the slums of the capital are not only young artists, but above all they are gaining awareness of their potential and of the group potential. This year the choir has held its first European tour: singing on prestigious stages, next to Andrea Bocelli the kids have had the privilege of being able to perform in front of the Supreme Pontiff Pope Francis.
In Greece, in 2017 the Andrea Bocelli Foundation and the International Emergency Response Center (ERCI) have joined forces to ensure better education for young Syrian Iraqi and Afghan refugees, through a pilot project to teach them in a short time English and IT, useful tools for their immediate future. Finally in Italy after a long and complex preparatory process, has started and is proceeding at a quick pace a project – carried out together with the Only The Brave Foundation – to reconstruct a definitive school structure for the children of the secondary schools of Sarnano (including a gym for all the kids of the village), the place of the crater of last year earthquake. It is a journey that will come to fruition in Spring 2018, a journey full of emotions leading us to know of stories and situations of difficulty, of willingness to get up, a community work that makes us proud of acting also here in Italy, making us proud of our roots.
Next year new and exciting adventures will be waiting for us, involving ABF in Italy and around the world: challenges we are already working hard on and that very soon we will have the pleasure of sharing.
A grateful thought to our President Stefano Aversa for being, above all, an extraordinary trainer and for pushing us every day to build a global and solid organization, an organization that is in the world and looks at the world rooted in the mission and values that Andrea has attributed to it.
A grateful thought to Andrea, Veronica, Virginia, Amos and Matteo for the great commitment, enthusiasm and energy, they lavish everyday in transforming this adventure born at home, into a collective experience, into an institution of people for people.
A grateful thought to ABF team that, with professionalism, has accepted and accepts, every day, more and more challenges, for the availability, the passion and the heart that each of the components puts for the realization of the single projects and of the mission.
A grateful thought to volunteers and Ambassadors for being every day next to us, for deciding to stay with us every day, be it with us in our offices in Florence or in Lajatico, be it on the field, or at home through a PC screen.
Thanks to everyone because we have lived our mission, “Empowering People and Communities”, both through the realization of projects, and internally creating a chain in which each of us has received opportunities for growth, trying, at the same time, to express themselves to the fullest.
My most sincere wishes to you all for a Merry Christmas and for a 2018 full of satisfactions and new challenges WITH YOU together again.