More than four years after the initial tremors of the earthquakes that shook central Italy in the summer of 2016, much work remains to be done to breathe life into projects to revive and reinforce the skills of those who chose to remain in their local areas to help them grow once more.
‘Alleva la speranza’ (Breeding Hope), the crowdfunding campaign that we launched together with Legambiente in 2018, continues and is taking on a new form. The goal now is to support small, local businesses that bring value to, and support the life of, the communities in the more isolated areas of the Apennines in Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche and Umbria, which in January 2017 were struck again by earthquakes as well as a wave of extreme weather, while more recently they have also had to contend with the impact of the Covid-19 emergency.
Phase three comes to an end
The results of the initiative, which was launched in November 2018, have so far been very positive and this is another reason it is being renewed. So far 187,237 euro have been raised through the PlanBee fundraising platform, which have gone towards supporting projects with 12 animal breeders, four for each phase of the campaign. The third phase, which has just ended, will fund the creation of a honey harvesting workshop in Amatrice (Rieti), the reconstruction of a barn in Valle Castellana (Teramo), putting up fencing for livestock and the purchase of organic feed in Acquasanta Terme (Ascoli), as well as the purchase of a haymaking machine and two feeding troughs in Cascia (Perugia).
Now it’s time for Alleva la speranza+
The new campaign launched at the beginning of December, is called Alleva la speranza+ (Breeding Hope+). While the previous three fundraisers concerned small-scale farming businesses, this time the scope has been extended to sustainable tourism and non-hotel hospitality, another engine of local development, to capitalize on the beauty of local areas in our country.
“Our goal, when we started out with this campaign, was to show that Enel and Legambiente are standing alongside local communities. We tried to provide concrete support to business people who in many cases had lost everything, but had decided – in spite of the huge difficulties that they were facing – to stay in their home areas and continue to develop their own businesses, thereby contributing to growing the local economies and making them sustainable,” explained Nicoletta Novi, Head of CSV and Sustainability Projects at Enel Italia, during the online event held to present the initiative. “The tenacity of these people has given new impetus to local economies and is also helping them to prevent the depopulation of these areas.”
In the new crowdsourcing campaign, our Group has partnered with Fondazione Symbola, Federtrek, Turismo verde and the Host Italia association, joining forces to stand even more closely alongside local businesses and to respond to the growing needs resulting from the Covid-19 emergency.
There are four new projects to support. The dream of Stefano Cappelli and Elena Pascolini of the Monte Vector association, who manage the Mezzi Litri mountain hostel in Arquata del Tronto (Ascoli), is of an Apennine area that is inclusive and without barriers. Through the fundraising initiative they aim to finance a ramp for disabled visitors as well as mobile and accessible accommodation solutions, including a yurt, used traditionally by the nomadic peoples of Asia.
Together with the Equo Rifugio cooperative, Eleonora Saggioro manages the mountain hostel Rifugio Sebastiani in Rocca di Mezzo (L’Aquila), which was forced to close in March because of the Covid emergency. The building now needs to be restructured internally in order to ensure the appropriate distancing of its guests.
Domenico Angelini, with his family farm business Dolci Giuseppina in Monteleone di Spoleto (Perugia), grows organic legumes, cereals and saffron and produces honey. Now he would like to create a tasting area on his terrace with its panoramic view, and to purchase more beehives.
Brigida Stanziola coordinates the activities of the environmental education center Il Sentiero in Poggiodomo, Umbria’s smallest municipality, in the province of Perugia: the contribution from the projects will help boost the building’s energy efficiency, improve waste management and develop a dispersed hospitality project.
“The pandemic has made the areas impacted by the earthquake even more fragile, aggravating situations that were already precarious,” explained Stefano Ciafani, President of Legambiente. “In those areas, which are often of extraordinary beauty, many small businesses are ensuring sustainable and quality production, thanks to which they are literally keeping entire communities alive. These people today are providing tangible signs of hope that the reconstruction of the areas devastated by the earthquake will be based on communities.”
The donations made through the PlanBee platform will be added to our contributions and those of Legambiente so that the ideas to revive these areas can become reality.