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It is just as simple as kicking a ball, as simple as singing. Doing good to others is in our truest and deepest nature. It is just sufficient to get in the game. Each in their own way, with enthusiasm just as Andrea and Javier did (and as we all can do). Linked by common strong social commitment, by friendship and mutual esteem, Andrea Bocelli and the Argentine footballer Javier Zanetti have decided to join forces for an evening of solidarity – last May 25th in Milan – which in parallel celebrated the Expo Area reopening, symbolically introducing the final of the Uefa Champions League that was played in Milan three days later.

The “Bocelli & Zanetti Night” at the Expo Open Theater has been an extraordinary marathon of music, sport and solidarity. There have been great artists and football legends gathered to help the weakest. A parade of stars, many famous friends, together to give, each, their own philanthropic contribution, thus offering a concrete example of the concept of “living laboratory” where ABF is embodied and finds its main positive and propulsive force.

The funds raised through the activities related to the event (organized by Master Group and broadcast the following day on TV, prime time), will be destined to P.U.P.I. Onlus, a Foundation created by Javier Zanetti, and to the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, engaged in specific projects dedicated to children’s education.

The organizations, each in its own way, operate on common principles, aiming at educate towards a better world. P.U.P.I. works in a particularly disadvantaged area of Buenos Aires, ABF in the most remote and poorest areas of the island of Haiti. It was therefore decided to focus on a join project, having the same characteristics and purposes, using education as a lever for the self-affirmation of children and of their families, in disadvantaged areas.

In the lavishing setting of a futuristic stage, the festive cocktail of music and sport of the“Bocelli & Zanetti Night” has been enriched by the presence of Michelle Hunziker, a great friend of ABF. On stage the football elite has gathered around Javier Zanetti, famous guests, like Pele Ronaldo, Allegri, Seedorf, Stankovic, Sacchi, Lippi, Toldo, Cordoba, Cambiasso, Boateng, Pessotto, Eto’o, Roberto Carlos and Claudio Ranieri.

Among the celebrities of the world of entertainment, bright stars like Maestro Zubin Mehta, Laura Pausini, Skin, Gianna Nannini, Giuliano Sangiorgi Alessandra Amoroso. And still, Kylie Minogue, Aida Garifullina, Valeria Mazza, Francesco Renga, Roberto Vecchioni, Rossella Brescia, Il Volo, Melissa Satta, Lorenzo Fragola.

The challenge launched by those who – like Andrea and like Javier – teach us that there is no dream that cannot turn into reality, has been largely won, thanks to everybody’s contribution. The funds raised will help to grant access to education to more than 500 children in Buenos Aires and 1,750 students in Haiti.

Not one euro has been spent on the part of the two Foundations, to realize the event and every euro collected (even through a campaign of solidarity texts, active during the event) will turn into food, education, books, and medicines. Every euro will be a pasta dish, backpacks to cross the woods and reach school, clothes, which are the only ones they have, hygiene that will keep illnesses far from them…it will be hope and confidence in life.

Haiti is a wonderful country where despite everything, smiles reign, where people express, everyday and anyhow their gratitude towards the gift of life, often singing, often kicking a ball.

But the earthquake of 2010 has fatally subtracted to the island the bases on which to pry to free itself from poverty. Today to get up again, Haiti needs us, so tomorrow will be able to walk by itself.

The world is our home, our family. Children, all of them, are also our children, also in Haiti. It is not necessary to be selfless to help them, it is sufficient to understand that their future concerns and involves us. To feel sorry for them is not necessary and does not solve the problem: the secret of every success (and of love for oneself and for the others) is “to do”, acting cheerfully and joyfully. Nelson Mandela wrote “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” This is the meaning of this feast that has invited to join forces for a better world, and for everybody to feel involved.

Here is the sense of the long friendship between Javier and Andrea, celebrated in a magic evening that has gathered many stars of music and sport. A friendship extended to the many guests and to each of us, because we too, we are champions, indeed, if we decide to play our best part, even more when the lives and future of so many children are at stake.

Giorgio De Martino