“Breeding Hope”, the crowdfunding project for Central Italy

Published on Thursday, 1 July 2021

Crowdfunding is reenergising the area 

In Rome, on 30 November 2018, we signed an agreement with Legambiente that brings us together as partners in the initiative, aiming to support producers who wish to remain in the areas hit by the 2016 earthquake. The fundraising campaign, as the President of Legambiente Stefano Ciafani explained, is intended to provide tangible help to these businesses in order to prevent economic “desertification” and the depopulation of the area.

“In these areas, the businesses involved in livestock rearing and the preparation of local produce of extraordinary quality are genuine bastions of our civil life that need the support of the whole country in order to survive, together with the communities of which they are part”

– Stefano Ciafani, President of Legambiente

Our commitment to the initiative – explained Claudio Fiorentini, Enel’s Head of Relations with Associations and Stakeholders – is an indication of the bond that has always kept us close to Italy’s local communities.

“Roots is one of the words that distinguishes this initiative: it evokes the mountain environment, the countryside, the roots of the people and companies that work in the area, but also of our company, which for more than 50 years has been present in the area demonstrating a constant sensitivity towards all parts of society and those living and working here”

– Claudio Fiorentini, Enel’s Head of Relations with Associations and Stakeholders

Fiorentini added that there are also two other words that describe the project. One is resilience, like the resilience of the first eight livestock breeders involved in the project, with their own strong bond with the local area. The other is ecosystem, understood as the combination of all the actors who are working side by side to kick-start local development.

The completed fundraising campaigns

Amelia, Alessia, Teresa, Silvia, Alba, Arianna, Fabio and Pietropaolo are the eight farmers from central Italy that initiated this journey. Their story is about passion for their land and daily commitment to their work, and invites us to believe in the future.

Target achieved for Amelia of Casale Nibbi

The first two phases of the campaign, which started in November 2018, came to a conclusion thanks to contributions from more than 400 donors, raising a total of €133,500 – which the beneficiaries used to relaunch their operations. The funds were allocated to the reconstruction of the stables belonging to Silvia Bonomi in Ussita (Macerata) and Amelia Nibi in Amatrice (Rieti), to the purchase of machinery for the farms owned by Teresa Piccioni in Teramo and Alessia Brandimarte in Norcia (Perugia), to the renovation of Arianna Veneri’s family farmhouse, also in Norcia, and to the transformation of Alba Alessandri’s livestock farm into an organic operation in Pieve Torrina (Macerata). Furthermore, through the Alleva la Speranza fundraising campaign, Fabio Fantusi was able to create a tourist facility in the beautiful area between Monti Sibillini and Monti della Laga, to facilitate the return of tourism to Amatrice (Rieti), whilst Pietropaolo Martinelli bought new livestock to relaunch production of the famous Farindola (Pescara) pecorino cheese.

The campaign’s third phase, launched on 12 December 2019, raised around €52,000. Funding was directed towards another four farmers: Valentina Capone set up a laboratory for the extraction of honey, as part of her family business in Bagnolo di Amatrice (Rieti); Simone Vagni purchased animal feeding machinery for the animals he breeds in the wild in Cascia (Perugia); Angela Catalucci put the funds towards a sheep farm in Acquasanta Terme (Ascoli Piceno); and Massimo Pierascenzi built a barn to start a new farm in Valle Castellana (Teramo).

On 1 December 2020, the crowdfunding initiative was revamped and expanded, and became Alleva la Speranza+. Thanks to 273 donors, the new campaign collected almost €56,000 to be allocated to four small businesses in the field of sustainable tourism and non-hotel hospitality: an increasingly important sector for the development and promotion of Italy’s backcountry, which was hit hard by the Covid emergency. A number of other partners have joined forces with us to support the campaign, including Fondazione Symbola, Federtrek, Turismo verde and the Host Italia association. The funds raised went to Stefano Cappelli for the construction of a number of mobile accommodation facilities and of an access ramp for the disabled at the Mezzi Litri mountain lodge in Arquata del Tronto (Ascoli); to Eleonora Saggioro, to renovate and bring up to code the interiors of the Sebastiani mountain lodge in Rocca di Mezzo (L’Aquila) and ensure they comply with anti-Covid rules; to Domenico Angelini to purchase more beehives and to set up a tasting station on his farm’s panoramic terrace in Monteleone di Spoleto (Perugia); and to Brigida Stanziola, coordinator of the “Il Sentiero” Environmental education center, to improve waste sorting for recycling and develop a widespread hospitality project in Poggiodomo, Umbria’s smallest municipality, in the province of Perugia.

Alleva la Speranza+ keeps going

With the crowdfunding campaign’s fifth phase, launched on 1 July 2021, we’re confirming our commitment to supporting family-run farms and small non-hotel tourism businesses that were badly affected by the earthquake that devastated central Italy five years ago, and whose recovery was then hindered by the Covid-19 pandemic. In this last phase, the campaign will support four more beneficiaries: Amalia Arpini would like to build a new fence against the wolves that threaten her family farm’s Bergamasca sheep, which are bred semi-wild in the Monti Sibillini valleys in Belforte del Chienti (Macerata); Enrico Foglietti is looking to create a refreshments area near the orchard on his organic farm in Norcia (Perugia), to breathe new life into the area of the San Martino springs, which he uses for irrigation purposes but which are also a natural asset that should be known and enjoyed; Marta Giampiccolo would like to purchase a cold storage room to preserve the different varieties of common and native apples that are grown on her family farm in Sant’Anatolia di Narco (Perugia), and is also looking to make the area around the room she dedicates to educational activities more accessible and welcoming. Finally, Alleva la Speranza+ will also support Jean Luc Furore, an environmental educator from the Greenwilli cooperative: his goals are to improve the energy efficiency of the Davalos family’s Park facilities and former hunting lodge in the Don Venanzio Woods in Pollutri (Chieti), to modify the wildlife museum in line with anti-Covid standards, to create a barbecue area that can be used by disabled people, and to create an outdoor educational area as well as charging stations for micro-mobility electric vehicles.

You too can support “Breeding Hope”

Amalia Arpini

Enrico Foglietti

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